Spearheaded by Fremantle-based veterinarian, Dr Garnett Hall, the VetChip microchip is implanted under the animal’s skin using a similar method to identity chips, and uses biosensors to continuously monitor temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygenation levels, and activity levels.
Biometric data collected by the chip is then interpreted by AI software to determine an animal’s normal health status and detect abnormalities as they occur, which is provided to owners through a connected phone app. The chip can also enhance the welfare and performance of horses by monitoring their health during training and recovery.
After a successful seed round in 2021 in which the company raised $2 million, VetChip is now looking to raise $5 million through AgriFutures growAG., an online agrifood innovation marketplace that connects users to investment opportunities, research and expertise from Australia and around the world.
When capital raising is complete, the funding will primarily be used to conduct a commercial trial of VetChip’s world-first technology over the next 18-24 months.
AgriFutures growAG. Senior Manager, Arianna Sippel, said it was an exciting opportunity to be involved with the future of animal health monitoring.
Recently, VetChip was announced as the Australian winner of Nestle-Purina’s global Unleashed Pet Tech Accelerator Program and was selected as one of 12 recipients of the latest Western Australian Government’s Asia Access Grants.
The technology is designed to give owners peace of mind they are providing their animals with optimal quality of life.
VetChip has also developed an API link to existing health record technology, allowing vets to make more informed decisions based on an animal’s historical data.
It also functions as an identifier chip, so it is expected that in time, animal owners could be given the choice of the standard microchip, or VetChip which does ID and health monitoring.
The inspiration for the advanced microchip came from health-related wearable technology which allows humans to measure more about their bodies.
The technology is equally suitable for livestock like horses, cattle, sheep and pigs as it is for domestic pets. The hardware is exactly the same, but the AI model’s training and output can be customised depending on the species.
This technology can change how animal management happens, and link with smart farm projects where monitoring the animals is often the biggest limitation.
To learn more about the expression of interest, VetChip, or to get in touch, head to growAG.