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Celebrating the top veterinary innovators

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By Suzanne Jarvis

Three finalists – Carol Dobson, Fiona Lovatt and Alastair Mair – have been shortlisted for the Vet Record Innovation Award.

They will now have the opportunity to present their concepts to a judging panel, investors and industry experts at the Animal Health Investment Europe conference later this month, where the winner will be selected.

The aim of the award is to honour excellence and innovation within the veterinary world.

Judges will decide which of the finalists has brought about the most significant change or improvement in veterinary practice

The judges will decide which of the finalists they think has brought about – or has the potential to bring about – the most significant change or improvement in veterinary practice. Each finalist will have just five minutes to make their case.

Dobson’s innovation is VetCard – a combined savings plan, payment plan, debit and credit card to help uninsured clients fund their veterinary services. Designed to sit alongside current healthcare plans, it should also make a difference to vets by reducing the number of unpaid bills, she said.

Lovatt, a sheep vet and consultant, will present Flock Health Club, a proactive network of sheep farmers and their vets. The vets all have a proven interest in sheep farm clients and their businesses, and they facilitate discussions, farm visits and practical training, while the farmer members benefit from peer-to-peer learning guided by the vet at the centre. The club has driven better preventive care, health and welfare for sheep and improved veterinary engagement on farm.

Innovation finalists: (from left) Carol Dobson, Fiona Lovatt and Alastair Mair

Mair, a veterinary anaesthetist, will introduce a veterinary anaesthetic chart app – Vetnapp. Offering a replacement to handwritten anaesthesia notes, it can record patient details, procedures performed, drugs administered, monitoring equipment and physiological parameters during an anaesthetic. The app is designed to work for all species, and to be used by both general practitioners and specialists.

There were also three highly commended entries for the award. These were Ian Bellis for Equicall, which provides out-of-hours equine cover; Hannah Capon for Canine Arthritis Management, a campaign to raise awareness and provide education around osteoarthritis in dogs; and Pauline Issard for Trackener, a wearable device for monitoring horses and providing an early warning of potential disease, such as colic.

The judging panel will be headed by Lord Trees, crossbench peer and chief veterinary adviser to Vet Record.

For more information on the conference, visit

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