Accelerated by the pandemic, pet ownership across the world is currently booming, with the petcare market estimated to be worth $200 billion currently — and set to grow to over $300 billion by 2030.
Along with this explosive growth in pet ownership comes increasing visits to the vet, for anything from regular checkups and advice to emergency procedures. But veterinarians are struggling to cope with this demand. They are currently treating 30+ pets per day on average, equivalent to one every 15 minutes, which is contributing to capacity constraints and reports of increased burnout amongst staff. Veterinarians are three-and-a-half times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
“What is exacerbating this problem is that the majority of veterinarians are still reliant on paper or use old, legacy systems to manage their workflows, things like scheduling, inventory management, invoicing, and patient record data entry. Unlike the medical industry at large, digital transformation is yet to touch large parts of the veterinary industry.“ said Digitail CEO and co-founder Sebastian Gabor.
For clinics, that means things like unsustainable schedules and staff burnout, missing charges and other financial problems which harm the vet practices’ profitability. Since different elements of the petcare industry aren’t able to share data due to a lack of interoperable IT structures, key stakeholders such as clinics, specialists, and laboratories are not able to work together towards providing better medical outcomes. Additionally, when pet owners move to different vet clinics, they lose all their pets’ health records, which is ine cient.
Above all, the ine ciency hurts the pets, with incidents of animals being turned away from appointments due to overwhelmed capacity, and reports of shortages in staff to treat animals in the U.S.
“That there are not enough humans to take care of all the animals is something I’ve experienced first-hand as a pet parent. By bringing all workflows online we can begin to remove many of the obstacles preventing veterinarians from delivering first-class petcare — and enable pet parents to have a more active say in their pets' health,” Gabor adds.
Digitail works with over 750 clinics worldwide serving around 1.4 million pets. Its platform digitises the administrative tasks of animal hospitals, from scheduling and record keeping, to inventory management, invoicing, and client communication. Pet owners can also get medical summaries directly to the Digitail app, and can communicate directly with their veterinarian in just a few clicks, where records and feedback can be easily tracked by both parties. These changes enable Digitail to offer a truly collaborative platform where all stakeholders work towards improving quality of life for pets.
Data is also shared via the platform so veterinarians can collaborate with their colleagues on records, customise assessment templates, and track all the important information about patients in one place. This reduces administrative burden by 40-60%, equivalent to around 3 days per month of admin at a typical vet clinic in the US. That lets veterinarians free up the time to focus on delivering quality petcare, seeing roughly double the patients per day.
“Consumer demand for petcare has grown tremendously — but the systems vets rely on to deliver care are not fit for purpose: they're outdated, they most often still run on local servers in the clinic, and are built without the pet owner in mind.” said Atomico principal Andreas Helbig. “Digitail's solution is so powerful because it addresses all these challenges: it's cloud-first, and it covers absolutely all workflows end-to-end in the clinic, and in collaboration with the pet owners — from simple vaccine reminders to more sophisticated health records and inventory management.”
Digitail will use this funding to further scale operations across US and Canada and continue its global expansion. The Series A funding will also allow Digitail to expand its product depth and feature range, further deepening the collaborative nature of its all-in-one platform.