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The new norm requires new solutions. Pet owners who’ve been struggling to figure out ways to get their furry friends diagnosed remotely can now breathe a sigh of relief.

There’s now a pet healthcare app in town that allows you to speak to a veterinarian remotely without having to leave the confines of your home.

Introducing: ZumVet.

IMAGE: ZumVet.

Born in New York and raised primarily in the U.S. and Hong Kong, Athena Lee never had the opportunity to have her own pets until recently when she moved to Singapore in 2017.

She now calls herself a ‘paw-rent’ to three cats; Siam, Bodhi, and Major Tom. They were the.. catalyst — pun intended — for Athena to create ZumVet, a digital healthcare solution for pet owners.

Anyway, Athena had underestimated the amount of responsibility it would entail to care for a pet and not only that, how unique their needs would be.

“After almost four years of being a paw-rent, I still discover new behavioral quirks I sometimes struggle to understand and often wonder whether they should be a cause for concern,” she told Mashable.

In fact, she had let Siam go undiagnosed with a urinary tract infection for over a year because she didn’t know what to look out for in its litter box.

“This was the main inspiration behind ZumVet. My co-founder and I realized that many pet owners, like ourselves, lacked the basic understanding on proper pet care, despite good intentions, and a reliable support network to seek advice when we needed it.”

Fun fact: In case you think Athena and her co-founder named their company after Zoom, you’re mistaken. It’s in fact an amalgamation of their cats’ names.

Creating ZumVet.

Speak to a vet remotely to diagnose your pets. IMAGE: ZumVet.

Athena, who started out her career in finance and has worked at Moody’s Investors Services and UBS AG, saw her passion for tech bringing her to Singapore.

“After moving here, I joined Doctor Anywhere as CEO and was tasked to ramp up the platform during its initial days,” she said, adding that platforms such as Pill Pack, Lemonade, and Chewy served as inspiration behind ZumVet.

This experience served as a good stepping stone for the inception of ZumVet. Athena said that being pet owners, the team had a clear idea of how they wanted the app to work and built a prototype based loosely on human digital health workflows.

“We tested the app with both local users who were entirely new to the concept, as well as overseas users who had experienced tele-vet services before. We then applied an iterative approach based on user feedback, which resulted in our initial beta which was launched last February.”

The biggest problem her team found was that almost 70 percent of pet owners were not bringing their pets to the vet, mainly due to a misguided notion that vets are expensive and inaccessible.

“Not only that, but reliable resources on pet health are also not easy to come by and a majority of pet owners aren’t familiar that their pets need a visit to the vet,” Athena added.

A handy solution.

Athena Lim (seated on the right) with the ZumVet team. IMAGE: ZumVet.

Athena and her team quickly found that ZumVet could potentially provide the solution pet owners need.

“Our main offering revolves around our remote care services, which include video consultation and medication delivery,” she explained.

All pet owners have to do is register on ZumVet at any time and bookings are confirmed within 15 minutes with medications delivered on the same day.

“Our video consults are not only ideal for diagnosis and prescriptions, but pet owners often call us to advise on behavioral issues or to triage emergencies, especially when their usual clinics are busy or unavailable.”

ZumVet claims to have a high-touch approach to digital pet care. The team of 28 registered vets follow up with every pet patient by providing an extended medical advice as well as personalized product recommendations.

But it’s not a walk in the park.

Athena Lee (right) with Dr Grace Su. IMAGE: ZumVet.

While it’s certainly a dream pursuing her love for pet healthcare, Athena said the biggest challenge comes from the fact that ZumVet operates within a very traditional ecosystem, one that has been slow to embrace change and innovation.

“There were many misconceptions, from vets and pet owners, surrounding the efficacy of telemedicine in the veterinary context. Education was, and still is, key to overcoming preexisting beliefs.”

Due to this, the team at ZumVet often emphasize that the platform is not a replacement for a traditional clinic visit but is rather part and parcel of a robust pet healthcare journey.

“We want pet owners to use remote care services as an opportunity to ask questions early to prevent further escalation of serious medical conditions.”

With active users in Malaysia, Indonesia, and China, ZumVet is aiming to build its local presence in these markets within the next two years.

Curious to try ZumVet? Learn more about their serviceshere.

Read more stories:

Drones will soon begin delivering your packages in Malaysia

‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ is quietly booming in Southeast Asia. But is it here to stay?

This woman wants to break taboos and promote sexual wellness in Singapore

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Cover image sourced from ZumVet.

ที่มา : Mashable

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