A website enables better communication between an equine veterinarian and the horse owner for appropriate decision making of the problems with the horses.
FREMONT, CA: There is no doubt that veterinary medicine derives many cues from human medicine, including diagnostic tools, information about bones, and tissue behavior. Big data provides numerous opportunities for veterinary and medical science. It uses large volumes of data to address basic clinical questions, to identify new diseases and new risk factors for established diseases. According to the basic thesis of Dr. Abraham Verghese, vice chairman of the theory and practice of medicine at Stanford's School of Medicine, the patient in the computer screen gains more attention than the one in the bed as doctors are overwhelmed by the massive data provided by new technology.
Equine veterinarians do not deal with millions of data on each patient, but many of them face increasing time pressures reducing the time for physical examination. Veterinarians are on information overload and can be traced back to graduate school, where the students learn the anatomy and physiology of all species and are not allowed to master one or two species until later in the program. Correspondingly, people are busier than ever, and veterinarians are not an exception. One excellent example would be a lame horse. When an ideal approach to determine in which limb or limbs the horse is lame is time-consuming, veterinarians can circumvent this process through radiographs. However, radiographs fail when the actual problem is associated with tissues and not bone structures. Also, a veterinarian cannot employ unnecessary diagnostics when a problem may be just as well diagnosed and treated more economically.
In some cases, using telemedicine is appropriate where veterinarians can review images or test results on a horse. Top of all, equine veterinarians should consider cues from the horses or the horse owners. This can form a bond of trust that is important in the process of working through problems with horses. In that regard, AAEP has made efforts to fill in the communication gaps between practitioners and clients through a website. It is aimed at showing veterinarians how to better communicate with and teach clients for improved long-term relationships.