Embracing the Future: The Urgent Call for Action on Artificial Intelligence in Veterinary Medicine

A comprehensive white paper detailing the role and potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in veterinary medicine has been released, with an emphasis on the need for industry-wide engagement, education, and action. The paper, titled “Artificial Intelligence in Veterinary Medicine,” is a product of VetCT and aims to provide a basic understanding for practitioners regarding the current and potential applications, advantages, and risks of this rapidly evolving technology.

The paper covers a range of topics including an introduction to AI and its application in human medicine, small animal, farm and equine practice, radiology, veterinary education, and the potential effects on the well-being and work-life of veterinary teams. It also includes findings from a recent VetCT survey on the perception of AI within the veterinary profession.

Julien Labruyère, the chief innovation officer at VetCT, emphasizes the importance of this moment in the veterinary industry. He stresses the need for adequate knowledge and safeguards to apply AI safely, effectively, and confidently to support sound clinical practice and ultimately enhance animal welfare. The white paper is designed to offer a solid basis for understanding AI and to spark conversations about its potential impact on both humans and animals.

The paper also advocates for the creation of industry-wide guidelines, standards, and regulations to protect veterinary teams and animal health and welfare as these tools are implemented. Labruyère underscores the rapid pace of AI development, with global governments and industries striving to regulate to ensure the benefits of this powerful technology outweigh any potential negative impacts.

He calls for opinion leaders, organizations, and regulators from the veterinary world to unite and establish safeguards, ensuring that AI tools will be beneficial for both veterinary teams and their patients. The complete white paper is available for download here.

Strategy and Delivery Manager at the Surrey University Vet School