DoggyDoc - Your virtual vet

02 September 2014 by Mark on Technology

Why some vets fear DoggyDoc - and why they don't need to

Let's start with what DoggyDoc is.

Simply put, it's a knowledge database combined with some clever algorithms - all written by humans. And some of these humans are even veterinarians themselves. So nothing really to be afraid of so far.

Our vets spent literally months in writing the most comprehensive and easy to understand veterinary texts that you can now find in DoggyDoc.

Artificial intelligence meets veterinary medicine

To make a virtual diagnosis possible, our AI and database team sat together with the vets and created what we call the iDiDi. The intelligent Disease Diagnosis engine.

The iDiDi is the very core of our system. It was designed by our CEO and AI specialist Taro Franke who studied mathematics and Artificial Intelligence in Tokyo and Berlin. And although Taro is half-japanese he is (almost) human too. Not really scary anyways.

The DoggyDoc App that you use on your iOS or Android device is just a pretty but simple user interface that does no calculations at all. I'd even go so far as calling it stupid, but then I'd have to apologize to our UI guys.

So the App (aka "UI") kind of talks to a server that is running our homegrown software. The server provides what we tech-nerds call a REST-API. That's basically some urls (web adresses) that the App can send questions to (about the symptoms, diseases etc.) an get answers back.
Easy, no rocket science. Ok, the calculations that the iDiDi performs actually do look a little bit like rocket science. But nothing to be afraid of, really (you need to trust me here).

Coming back to the original question: why are some vets afraid of DoggyDoc?

Concern #1: "DoggyDoc tries to replace vets."

DoggyDoc does not create a full diagnosis of your dog. It helps you diagnosing your dog by yourself using common sense in combination with what we call a virtual diagnosis - the result of the calculations done by the iDiDi.

Granted, the virtual diagnosis is pretty damn accurate in most cases and we're constantly working on improving it. But if you believe something serious is wrong with your dog, even if DoggyDocs' virtual diagnosis doesn't indicate anything, please do consult your vet!

So, we are not trying to replace vets, but we want dog owners become more knowlegable about dog health in general and their own dogs health in particular.

Concern #2: "DoggyDoc is just a tool for hypochondriac dog owners [...]"

"... and now I [the vet] will get all these DoggyDoc users asking me weird questions about what disease their dog might have."

DoggyDoc is a tool to help dog owners take better care of their pet, and help them to better understand what certain symptoms and diseases mean. When you randomly google for symptoms, in roughly 80% of the cases your result is cancer or something similar frightening.
That makes people freak out of course. If you look at the results that DoggyDoc gives you, you'll get a much better picture of the possible disease as well as other related symptoms so that you can narrow down on what itch your dog potentially has. And DoggyDoc even tells you how likely a disease is for the selected symptoms.

DoggyDoc: An App to manage all your dog health related issues

For us at DoggyDoc, this first version of the App is just the very beginning of what we want.
Yep, it's something very unique, that does not exist yet. Something super cool, that we spent many man-years of development and research on. But it's not our final call.

Our goal is to create an App that helps you manage all your dog health related issues.

One example is to keep track of the health issues your dog had, be it a little flue, some scratch or broken bones. The vets call that the anamnesis, but it could be even more. Think more of a health diary.

And now think of giving this diary to your vet. Even better, as a vet, think of having all background information of your patient in your hands. A health record that doesn't forget even the smallest, but sometimes so important, issue.

How would you like that?



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