New VetCT app connects GP vets to specialists
What is VetCT?
VetCT has designed a new app which will allow first opinion vets in practice to have communication with a specialist at the push of a button, providing them clinical support from their pocket. Launching on 25th March, the app will provide an additional layer of support in practice for vets at all levels of their education, from students, to vets in general practice and veterinary specialists.
VetCT started out as a global teleradiology business in 2009, with their mission being to help all vets feel their best and be their best every day. The founders of the app identified that a gap exists when making the decision to refer a patient. Some cases clearly need to be referred, while others do not. The gap exists in the grey area in the middle, with cases when vets are unsure whether it is appropriate or possible to refer. VetCT aims to bridge the gap between first opinion vets and specialists with the new app, allowing them to work together to ensure that cases are referred when it is appropriate.
Victoria Johnson, co-director of VetCT, explains, “The service is quick and accessible. Vets are really busy people, so we had it in mind to make it as easy as possible for them to access and use the app. We chose specialists who had experience of working in first opinion practice and who understand what it’s like to be a first opinion vet without access to referral equipment.”
How can it be used?
GP vets spend on average 10 hours a week seeking advice from online forums, friends, other colleagues and doing further reading, with specialists spending around five hours a week giving out free advice to GP vets by phone or email. VetCT’s main aim is for cases to be worked up in the right way and referred at the appropriate time. Benefits for pet owners include faster and easier access to specialists and a more affordable option if referral is not possible.
This form of teleconsulting means that vets in first opinion practice can access the app on their mobile or on a web browser, depending on how they want to access information. Vets accessing the service can request everything from an instant call back, text chat, video and written reports, available 24/7/365 across all specialities. Interaction with the app is also logged as CPD, with users of the app receiving quarterly certificates. Additional services provided by the app include the ability to bespoke CPD and live training sessions.
“We have a team of over 100 radiologists and over 60 specialists behind the app and they all still work in clinical practice. That was really important for us at VetCT. Our specialists have to be relevant and practical, so it’s important that they still work in clinical referral practice so they are able to provide general practice vets with the most up to date and relevant information” explains Victoria Johnson.
How much does it cost?
Practices will pay an annual fee of £200 and each specialist consultation of up to 20 minutes will cost £80+VAT. Practices then have the option of how to pay the consultation fee. They can charge the fee to their clients, or credits can be used instead of charging the client. Each practice will be awarded credits for using the service, and VetCT can provide additional credits to support those who may benefit from it, such as vets returning from annual leave and new graduates.
With vets more isolated now than they were 12 months ago in practice, the app also aims to provide a supportive service to vets.
Through market research it found that one third of responding vets felt that it would provide support and fill the gaps caused by the pandemic, with whole teams not being able to work together and interact in the way they once did before the pandemic. The Diploma-holding specialists are also trained in mental health awareness and can provide emotional alongside practical support, knowing when it is appropriate to signpost to VetLife and other organisations.
The app can be downloaded for both iOS and Android devices. For more information and to discuss rates and credit options, practices and individuals can email email@example.com or visit the VetCT website.