Digital devices to keep tabs on your pet’s oxygen level, heart rate – ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: What happens when two members of a dog-loving family exchange notes on how to juggle high-pressure careers with pet parenting? A startup idea is born. This is how Vani Aiyer teamed up with co-founder Vivek Srinivas (who is married to his cousin) and decided to leave his senior management position at Nissan India for the hectic excitement of the startup experience.

“We were both from the corporate space and had to work long hours and travel constantly to care for our dogs,” she says. “I have three: Boss, Queen and Laptop, just like Vivek: Bruno, Zara and Rowdy.” Dogs are of different breeds and ages with different health problems, which means unexpected lightning bolts from time to time. “Vivek’s dog Bruno had seizures, but when they took him to the vet he would have already recovered. So the vet never had a clear view of how serious the attacks were,” he says.

These health emergencies convinced the duo that pet care needed devices that could track pet vital signs at home in the same way that people regularly monitor their blood pressure, blood sugar or oxygen levels.

That’s how it started Vetintant Healthcare, which started as a bootstrapped entity and product marketing and is now an IIT Madras incubated startup with several patents and aggressive expansion plans. “The first agency we hired when we started the business was Kria Law, as we had patents to file on our inventions,” says Aiyer. “Bharath Vathul of Kria law recommended us to the Incubation Cell of IIT Madras. There they interviewed us and incorporated us,” he says. With that induction came their first round of financing. So far we have raised Rs 1.15 crore seed investment from IIT Madras Incubation Cell’s ‘Little Angels Network’ and are looking to raise $3 million in the next two years,” he adds.

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Vetinstant has developed a set of IoT (Internet of Things) devices that “would integrate into a pet’s life as a bed, bowl and collar and track basic vital signs,” he says. “Then, with more feedback from veterinarians, we produced a wearable device to monitor animals’ vital signs digitally and non-invasively.” The device is currently being tested in government and private veterinary clinics and hospitals across Tamil Nadu.

Aiyer says things were difficult at first. “We used to cold call veterinarians and wait hours for them to test the Woofnosis examination device, which is a patented temperature measurement device. oxygen saturationheart rate, heart and lung auscultation (breath sounds),” he says. “Then they would continue with their current methodology and be completely floored by the possibility of having quick, painless data at hand. Vivek and I would come away from those conversations with the vet smiling from ear to ear,” he says.

What helped was that all four partners in the company are pet lovers. For Vani, Vivek, S Rajkumar and Karthikeyan Gururaj, this is a calling, not a career. “Our CTO, Karthikeyan Gururaj, suddenly lost two of his pets due to medical emergencies,” says Aiyer. “Initially, Vetinstant was his client for the development of technology platforms, but he came on board as a partner because he felt that data and devices like this could have saved his dogs. The fourth partner, who has designed the comprehensive system iot devicesis doing his second master’s degree at IIT Madras in biomedical design.

The team is young (apart from Aiyer, who is 50, Vivek is 37, and Rajkumar and Gururaj are 27) and committed to making a difference in pet care. The company is currently focusing on Chennai and Bengaluru as markets but plans to reach pan-India by the end of this year. The scale strategy is to digitize more than 1,000 veterinary practices (single or clinic or hospitals) by December 2025. After which there will be expansion.

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“We hope that in the next three to five years the business will serve not only small pets, but also cattle and horses. We also want to reach global markets such as the United States and Canada with our devices,” says Aiyer.

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  • Updated On Jun 3, 2024 at 10:33 AM IST
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  • Published on June 3, 2024 at 10:25 am IST
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  • 3 min read
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