ETU “LETI" researchers have proposed using artificial intelligence to effectively monitor animal health
Researchers of St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI" created an effective alternative for measuring and monitoring parameters related to dog health based on video analysis. Developers of the Department of Automation and Control Processes and the Department of Biotechnical Systems worked together with the University of Haifa (Israel), under the guidance of Dmitry Kaplun, Associate Professor of the Department of Automation and Control Processes.
An increase in the pet population and the need to raise awareness about their health are some of the main reasons for the rapid growth of the veterinary healthcare market. The most frequent and expensive patient treated in veterinary clinics is a dog. Telemedicine, which creates technology platforms for remote medical care, will soon be the game-changer for the veterinary healthcare industry. This is due to recent legislative changes in several countries, including Russia, Canada, and the United States, which have given the green light to the remote provision of veterinary services. Most telehealth platforms available today are based on dog owners' reports that are subjective and misinterpreted.
The project of ETU “LETI" researchers is aimed at meeting the demand for more objective non-contact, non-invasive, and informative methods for measuring and monitoring health-related parameters: vital signs, activity levels, and behavior models.
“In the project, we used methods of computer vision and machine learning, which will be applied to a large set of video data collected in two veterinary clinics and enriched with medical metadata. As a result, we will develop non-contact non-invasive methods of measuring parameters reflecting the state of animals for video materials collected using various types of cameras: infrared, network, mobile, and surveillance cameras.”
Dmitry Kaplun, Project Manager, Associate Professor of the Department of Automation and Control Processes of ETU "LETI"
Today, there are mobile devices on the market, such as PetPace and Whistle, that can measure dogs' heart rate, determine body postures, activity levels, and alert you to behavioral abnormalities. Nevertheless, certain accuracy problems and the lack of reliable data on the effect of these devices on the health of domestic animals present significant barriers to their adoption in clinics, in particular, in telehealth.
The project Video Monitoring of Health Parameters in Veterinary Medicine by researchers of ETU “LETI" and the University of Haifa won the competition for the best scientific projects in the Health area, held by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in conjunction with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel in 2019. The goal of the competition is to support basic scientific research, develop international cooperation, promote the inclusion of Russian researchers in the global scientific community, and create the conditions for joint projects by scientists from Russia and Israel. For the 2019 contest, 63 applications were submitted. Organizers supported 14 projects after the examination conducted independently by the Russian and Israeli parties. ETU "LETI" became the only winner from St. Petersburg.