Ohhun Kwon, Director, A’alda Vet India and Dr. Vinod Sharma, Chief Veterinary Officer, DCC Animal Hospital, in an interaction with Express Healthcare, explains that the pet healthcare industry must work in tandem with the best global skill sets and services, instead of a simple problem-solving approach
Tell us about CDC’s new mobile app
PetConnect is a mobile app designed for CDC customers. What makes this initiative unique and first of its kind in India is how it digitizes the way pet parents interact with vets. The app has been carefully designed to fill all the gaps seen so far in the veterinary system, offering everything from the ease of booking or rescheduling appointments to keeping your pet’s complete medical records in an organized and digitized format.
Sometimes, when it comes to your pets, something that may seem like a very small problem at a particular stage in their life can, three years later, turn out to be life-threatening. It could become a major problem leading to serious health complications, requiring surgery or other intensive procedures. Thus, DCC focuses on raising awareness and growing the ecosystem of how pet parents understand disease and symptoms. Maintaining a proper medical record helps doctors keep these factors in mind during a daily health checkup. And if all records are kept digitally, there is no possibility of data loss. This allows them to verify the specific problem during several checkups, consultations or vaccinations, and to treat them quickly.
Also, COVID has helped many of us see that it’s actually quite safe to conduct contactless transactions. Thus, PetConnect also allows you to access or consult your invoices whenever you want, and even to make payments, without contact. You can book an in-person appointment at the hospital or a telehealth consultation, making it possible to address all of your pet’s health issues simply through your laptop or mobile phone, with guidance and support from your pet. a qualified veterinarian. Additionally, we are constantly improving our knowledge bank on the app where articles and content are added regularly, so pet parents can easily refer to it for best practices.
What kind of differentiation do you envision creating for DCC via PetConnect?
Pet Connect is one of many CDC efforts to better communicate with pet owners and help increase their knowledge and awareness. It focuses heavily on preventative care for problems or illnesses that a dog, cat, or other pet may have at a later stage. Therefore, we envision both digital and on-the-ground services, and are fully committed to transforming the face of veterinary care in India.
To that end, the PetConnect app provides easy access to expert medical care, best techniques, treatments, advice, and plenty of convenience. I believe this is what sets us apart, as we aim to raise pet health standards to the same benchmarks as humans.
Are there expansion plans for the services offered or the areas served?
Yes there is. We understand how the market works and therefore we are constantly researching and responding to the diverse needs of pet owners based on the feedback and feedback we receive. Therefore, we have a gradual expansion plan starting with the expansion of our services and facilities across Delhi NCR. We currently have a presence at two locations, South Delhi and Gurugram, but plan to unveil several more over the coming year.
What type of innovation, transformation or evolution do you think the Indian pet care industry needs?
I think you have to start with the basics first. There are many facilities in the overseas market. For example, even at the level of wellness centers for senior dogs and canine gyms for their physical activity, which is actually the cause of many health problems. Many advanced equipments are available today. However, what we as DCC believe is most needed at this stage is to ensure clear and transparent medical care where pet owners are made to understand what preventive care – basics such as the importance of vaccinations and their correct storage, as well as taking into account the specific physical conditions of the dog, during checks prior to the administration of these vaccines. Effectiveness depends on many factors, and few pet owners are as aware of this as necessary. So we need to start tackling the root cause of the problem by creating that awareness and the importance of the building blocks that can help save lives.
Second, the companion animal health industry needs to work in tandem with the best global skill sets and services, rather than just a problem-solving approach. With the amount of detailed records available today, complete transparency is essential. Pet parents should be helped to understand and identify the symptoms of early onset illnesses, so that the problem can be dealt with at a much earlier stage, rather than when it has already become much more serious.
How has pet healthcare changed in India in the era of the pandemic?
Since leaving home was no longer an option during the pandemic, telehealth consultation services were in high demand. The emphasis was on providing the best possible care and assistance, as medical care on the ground or in person was difficult at the time. For this reason, digital support for pet health care has increased tremendously. Even now that things are starting to look up, pet parents have greatly appreciated the convenience offered by our PetConnect app. All the advice they need is right at their fingertips, and for more in-depth care, they can book appointments, treatments and exams, and track them using the app itself!
However, another trend we have seen is quite heartbreaking. Many pandemic pet parents have given up on their pets now that things are starting to look up and they are heading back to the office. So we would really ask pet owners not to abandon their pets, but rather to plan their lives and work around them.
DCC focuses on creating extremely comfortable boarding services where the rooms are fully air-conditioned and temperature-controlled. Our facility doctors are also hand-picked based on their global expertise and skills, in consultation with a team of advisors from Japan and the United States, who work closely with them to enhance these skills.