Mars Petcare launches one of the largest tech-enabled pet health studies

Wearable pet tech and electronic vet records aim to connect behaviour to pet health

Blog

Today at the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and Texas A&M University's Veterinary Innovation Summit, Mars Petcare announced the launch of Pet Insight Project, a three-year study of more than 200,000 dogs across the United States to uncover important links between pet activity, behaviour and health.

Through its leading pet tracker business, Whistle™, and high-quality veterinary care practice Banfield Pet Hospital™, Mars Petcare is looking to discover groundbreaking insights to enable a new era of proactive, preventive care for pets. Using machine learning, rich data science and deep veterinary expertise, the aim of the longitudinal study is to better understand when behaviour may signal a change in a pet's health and make it possible for pet owners to better partner with their veterinarian on treatment. The study will continuously capture behaviour data from hundreds of thousands of participating pets and correlate that information with repeat wellness visits.

"Innovative projects like Pet Insight Project are exactly what this industry needs to drive care forward," said Tom Bohn, Chief Executive Officer of the NAVC. "Technology and big data are powerful tools that could radically alter how we deliver veterinary care. This notion of transforming veterinary medicine is the driving force behind NAVC's Veterinary Innovation Council and the Veterinary Innovation Summit, and resonates strongly with our Summit attendees working hard to transform pet health."

Pet Insight Project is one of the largest tech-enabled studies of pet health, in which participating pet owners agreed to have their pets take part in this revolutionary study. One of the key focus areas relies on repeat wellness visits to Banfield hospitals, where veterinarians will update electronic health records with relevant health changes. These records will then be correlated with high-resolution data collected through Whistle Fit, a purpose-built wearable activity monitor. This unique combination of insights will be analyzed by data scientists and veterinary professionals to map relevant patterns of pet behaviours and movement with illness, to aid in more precise detection of ailments – and eventually, early warnings.

"We are undertaking this cutting-edge research to pursue a future in which pet health care is improved by data-driven insights that connect pet owners and veterinarians," said Leonid Sudakov, President of Connected Solutions, the global ventures, genetics, data and analytics division at Mars Petcare. "This collaborative approach is a great illustration of how we are leveraging our unique business scale, science and data capabilities to deliver on our purpose: 'A Better World for Pets'."

Pet Insight Project is now enrolling participants across the United States. For more information about the study and to follow insights as they are announced, visit petinsightproject.com.