PawSquad & the future of veterinary care
PawSquad has managed to find one of the last remaining traditional industries to turn on its head. In the spirit of disruption, the company is creating a whole new way to look after your pet - bringing technology to bear on what has traditionally been a model centred around vet practices as the sole source of knowledge and treatment for pets.
Launched in 2015 with video and chat consultations, mimicking the telemedicine trends for humans, PawSquad's online advice service, manned by experienced vets, is now a standard part of Direct Line's Pet Health Insurance. Consultations are £15 for chat or quick video call with a vet, to allay fears, outline options, answer questions and triage an emergency.
Next on the road map was home visits, rolled out mid 2016 and by now available in 11 regions across the UK, soon be be in many more. Home visits offer owners respite from the stress of taking their animal to the vet, and surprisingly, is suitable for most types of routine treatment. The PawSquad model however is about much more than simply changing the delivery mechanism of veterinary care - they want a greater focus on prevention, hence offer 40 minute consults over the standard 10 minutes in practice, and to facilitate a long term, more personal relationship between pet, vet and owner, hence always sending the same vet, and enabling frequent communications through direct calls and text messaging.
Meanwhile, the model offers vets an entirely new career route - the ability to escape a target-driven, always-on, fast pace and hierarchical environment in practice, where they regularly see eight animals an hour and struggle to find time to give the TLC they want, and set up their own with the ability to choose how, when and how much they work, have longer consults and build relationships that last. PawSquad, in the Uber model, provides an extensive technology platform, marketing budget and implementation to launch a market, administrative support, and even clinical support and guidance.
Owners are flocking to PawSquad, and raving about the idea. See TrustPilot. The partnership with Direct Line is evolving, and new, data driven ways to optimise care for our furry friends are in the making.
Also see TechCrunch.