In a time when blockchain is revolutionizing the security and accessibility of healthcare solutions, one company aims to bring those benefits to veterinary medicine. Petlife, an Estonian start-up partnering with a New York-based engineering team, hopes to use blockchain technology to offer telemedicine for pets.
According to Petlife’s whitepaper, 54% of respondents to a Health Industry Distributors Association’s study are willing to use telemedicine. And with people spending more and more money on pets, Petlife hopes to satisfy the growing demand for quick and secure healthcare for animals.
24/7 access to pet care
The telemedicine model is appealing for many reasons. Firstly, it allows consumers to reach out to qualified veterinary professionals from the comfort of their own homes as soon as symptoms occur for their pet or farm animal. Petlife offers 24/7 access to a trained network of veterinarians, and claims that they will be able to answer a query within 14 minutes.
Using video conference and chat, pet owners can use the Petlife app to determine what’s troubling their pet. Users have access to various specialists: dermatologist, surgeon, oncologist, etc. During the consultation, the veterinarian will review the pet’s medical record, current symptoms, and prior prescriptions. After questioning the pet owner, they should be able to make a diagnosis and order a prescription.
Medical Records Security & Blockchain Technology
Petlife uses Ethereum blockchain technology to store medical health records. The Petlife medical record includes animal information, test results, immunization results, and personal info—any and all secure and private data. Their Ethereum-based “personal” blockchain will allow users to access their own pet’s data. With this personal account, the user can set permissions for vets and insurance companies, thereby maintaining control of their pets’ data.
Blockchain will allow for an immutable record of any transactions that take place over Petlife’s network, while also providing the user with a centralized medical record for their pet.
Who does it work for?
According to Petlife, the market for veterinary services grows up to 8% every year – making it a 30 billion dollar industry in 2018. With this in mind, it plans to appeal to many consumers all over the world. Starting with consultants: Petlife emphasizes the possibility of monetization in the form of direct sales and consultations of their services.
But Petlife’s marketing emphasizes the individual pet owner in their presentation paper. For example, if a consumer is far away from a veterinarian, they can use the app for quick assistance. Petlife also offers a “second opinion” service in case a customer doesn’t quite trust the diagnosis made by their veterinarian. Also, say your pet needs access to a common prescription? Petlife hopes to ease the process of getting a prescription through the app.
And it’s not just pet owners that can use this technology, but farmers and ranchers. Because diseases are a serious and escalating issue in animal agriculture, this could mean great things for agricultural safety. In fact, Petlife claims that their service will certainly help to combat zoonotic diseases that can spread rapidly on farms.
Token economics: the PETL currency
Like many industries that use blockchain, Petlife has developed their own cryptocurrency called PETL. Those who participate in their crowdfunding campaign will receive bonuses that will then be used for goods and services through the app. Petlife even plans to open an actual store in Zug, Switzerland, where PETL tokens can be used for things like animal feed, clothing for pets, and pharmacy medicine.
Through the app, PETL tokens can be used to pay for everything from consultations to X-rays to MRI results. And as with every blockchain transaction, these cryptocurrency transactions will be secure, recorded, immutable, and time-stamped for maximum security.
Petlife proposes to bring blockchain solutions of secure, private transactions to the everyday consumer, allowing pet owners 24/7 access to care. This, along with a variety of exciting blockchain technologies, continues to revolutionize the way we envision healthcare.
Brennan is a blockchain technical adviser in the healthcare sector and blockchain entrepreneur who has worked on developing proprietary concepts for both artificial intelligence and enterprise blockchain. He is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Health Professions where he earned a M.S. in biomedical informatics.