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My Virtual Veterinarian

My Virtual Veterinarian is a marketplace that connects pet parents with veterinarians for video and chat appointments.

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My Virtual Veterinarian is a marketplace that connects pet parents with veterinarians for video and chat appointments. The platform has been particularly helpful during COVID-19 because it allows pet parents to access veterinary care for their pets in a safe manner.  One pet parent from Rockwall, Texas emailed us and said "I am immunocompromised and...didn’t want to risk going out. Bailey was licking her paw a lot which is not normal... I searched the internet to try and figure out what it was and that was a bad idea... [Through My Virtual Veterinarian] I was able to send a photo of Bailey’s paw to the vet and he assured me that it was nothing serious... This was a HUGE relief. Bailey was ok and we didn’t have to leave. Thank you so much!”

The platform also allows veterinarians who are at a higher risk to continue to practice. One veterinarian, Dr. Weiss from 2nd Street Animal Hospital, wrote "Many pet owners throughout the country are impacted by COVID-19 to differing degrees, and with many states enforcing stay at home orders many are reluctant to leave their homes. Many also have underlying health issues as well. This is where my desire to offer virtual veterinary medicine came to be. Through My Virtual Veterinarian I have not only helped my clients but also clients throughout the country."

What is the need are you focusing on?

My Virtual Veterinarian is focused on helping pet parents and veterinarians access/provide veterinary care in a socially distant and safe way. 

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

For the past month and a half we have removed all in-home veterinary appointments and "Paws for Wellness" pop-up annual wellness clinics from our platform and have focused exclusively on providing video and chat appointments between pet parents and veterinarians. On March 24, the FDA suspending regulation preventing vets from practicing telemedicine with patients who they hadn't previously examined in person. Since this suspension, our veterinarians have helped pet parents all over the US. Many vet clinics are closed and pet parents aren't sure where to find a vet who practices telemedicine. My Virtual Veterinarian addresses this need. It is a marketplace where pet parents can find a vet that meets their budget and availability needs. Vets don't pay a subscription/annual fee for the platform; there's no risk to them to onboard themselves to the platform. There's only upside in helping more patients and getting paid for their time and expertise.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

Many practices have had to stop operating because of quarantine restrictions, which has left pet parents at a loss for how to help their pets receive the care that they need, when they need it. Through My Virtual Veterinarian, we hope to help alleviate the stress that these pet parents are under by providing a safe veterinary option for their pets. According to the” Packaged Facts’ Pet Population and Pet Ownership Trends (October 2019), the pet dog population reached an estimated 82 million in 2018, with the cat population at 62 million.” (Packaged Facts December 2019, p. 206) Roughly 35% of cats and 20% of dogs don’t receive annual care. We hope to prevent an increase in these percentages of pets not receiving care by helping pet parents access veterinarians who provide virtual care. We are already helping pet parents, but we need help to grow our services and spread the word. The faster we educate pet parents and veterinarians about the platform, the more pets we can help.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Business name: My Virtual Veterinarian Incorporation name: My Virtual Vet, Inc

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

My Virtual Veterinarian connects pet parents with veterinarians for video and chat appointments. We onboard veterinary practices so that vets at these practices can access their existing clients virtually. We also onboard individual veterinarians who contract for the platform and access new patients who can't access veterinary care from their primary veterinarian during COVID-19.

What is your profession?

I am the founder of My Virtual Veterinarian. I am also a second-year MBA student at The Wharton School.

Where are you located (country)?

Headquartered in Philadelphia, USA but clients/veterinarians live all over the USA

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Healthcare/Medical

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 1-2 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Business

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Funding- Loans
  • Funding- Investment
  • Funding, whether it is in the form of grants, loans, or investments, but I don't need all three

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

I would like to help with connecting with individuals at insurance companies, veterinary practices/hospitals and animal shelters to discuss partnerships to offer telemedicine services through My Virtual Veterinarian to pet parents and vets.

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

The platform already exists, but it is currently an iOS application. I need funding to put towards building a website that mirrors the iOS experience so that Android users are able to access virtual veterinary care. The other main barrier is convincing larger practices to use the platform. For liability reasons, they're concerned about telemedicine and would like transcriptions of video appointments. This is technically very difficult and would require resources towards an engineer dedicated to this implementing this feature.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

No, I'm not aware of any open source efforts.

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