The Columbia-based pet healthcare company VitusVet has announced a $1 million investment in its business to help with the nationwide expansion of service for its online and mobile app.
The company, which is a resident at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, has developed an app that pet owners can use to download medical information through participating veterinary offices. This allows owners access to necessary and sometimes critical medical information in the event of a medical emergency.
“Despite advancements in veterinary technology, the main way that vets still transfer files is through fax,” said Mark Olcott, DVM, co-founder and CEO of VitusVet. “Under the current system, it can sometimes take days for a vet’s office to fax you necessary files when they are open, and files may not even be available at all if the office is closed on the weekend. In the event of an emergency it is time that you do not have.”
Olcott would know; he spent 20 years as a vet, both in primary care and as an emergency vet.
Through the VitusVet app pet owners can access their pet’s complete files in a matter of minutes, including bloodwork, x-rays, past medical conditions and doctor’s notes. Users can also set reminders to administer monthly and yearly medications in the app as well.
“My cat Sundance had blood work done when he was neutered and it was perfect. Then at 8 months of age he went into complete kidney failure with no explanation,” said Karen Johnson of Frederick. “This was on a weekend when my vet was closed, so if we didn't have access to this blood work on VitusVet, we would have figured he had a kidney birth defect and put him to sleep.”
The service is paid for by participating vet offices, with the app and all the pets’ medical files being provided to owners at no charge.
“This is a great example of someone recognizing an opportunity for improvement and finding a better way,” said Peter Ettinger, Executive Director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship. “The project that they are working on and the product that they have created are absolutely going to change people’s lives and reshape the way that veterinary care is delivered.”
With the $1 million investment, Olcott says that they have plans to expand the service across the country.
“VitusVet saves pets lives. It is as simple as that,” said Stewart Gold, Director of Entrepreneurship at the MCE and mentor to VitusVet.
The app is available for download through the App Store and Google play.
About HCEDA: The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses, and attracting corporate/regional headquarters. The Authority also maintains several programs aimed at the special needs of small and agricultural businesses. Additionally, the Authority strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. The Authority can be reached at www.hceda.org.
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