Demand for remote veterinary consultations has risen 14 percent in the first six months of 2022 at Joii Pet Care, indicating a continued appetite for owners to access vet care from the comfort of their home.
Between January and June 2022, Joii Pet Care saw a 14 percent increase in veterinary consultations when compared to the same period in 2021; which in itself was heightened due to reduced opening of vet practices faced with the Covid-19 lockdowns. A total of 250,000 pets have now been registered for the Joii Pet Care app, which provides 24/7 veterinary consultations and a free symptom checker.
Matt Elcock, chief operating officer at Joii Pet Care, said: “The rise in demand and registrations correlates with the fact we’re seeing a growth in pet numbers across the UK while access to vets in-person vets can often take time and be costly.
“Our growing team of RCVS-registered vets are accessible 24/7 for owners, which has proved a lifeline for many customers and also eases the pressure on traditional practices. Our vets are able to provide advice immediately and our approach means we can provide routine, preventative health care for cats and dogs; giving in-person vet practices more time to concentrate on the more complex procedures.”
The Joii Pet Care app launched in 2019 and was developed by Vet-AI. Throughout the pandemic, numbers of consultations rose as pet owners struggled to access in-person vet care. Last year, Joii Pet Care’s vets and nurses delivered more than 1 million minutes of virtual pet care for cats and dogs.
Reflecting on the continued rise post-pandemic, Elcock added: “Customers are becoming more accustomed to accessing health advice via digital methods, whether that be for themselves or their pets.
“It is really important that pet owners have a range of convenient and affordable choices to access vet care and ensure that animals are accessing the treatment they need. Unfortunately, some owners are avoiding vets when it’s too expensive or requires a car journey. That’s where we come in. The vet industry needs to offer both digital and in-person options for the future of pet health and welfare.”
The latest figures come in the midst of Joii Pet Care publishing a paper on remote prescribing throughout the pandemic. The firm, alongside others in the industry, was given permission by the RCVS to prescribe medication remotely in the height of the pandemic but this has since been revoked across the industry. Joii Pet Care undertook analysis which showed remote prescribing to be safe and effective.
In July 2022, the RCVS has announced it will be consulting with the veterinary profession and the pet owning public about the possibility of remote prescriptions being reinstated via its “under care” review.
Joii Pet Care Vet, Dr Sam Webster, added: “We welcome the RCVS review and urge the profession and public to respond to the consultation when it goes live. We are hugely supportive of the veterinary industry adapting for the future of pet healthcare; ensuring pet owners have the choice to access advice and prescriptions both via telemedicine and in-person consultations is key to that.”
Joii Pet Care was launched in 2019 by experienced vets Robert Dawson and Sarah Warren, and tech entrepreneur Paul Hallett. Built by a team of experts using cutting edge technology, Joii allows pet parents to diagnose and receive recommended advice for pets from the comfort of their home.