Pet Insurance Company can Predict Your Dog’s Medical Future

pet insurance company

(Photo Credit: gilaxia via Getty)

A popular pet insurance company recently announced that it has created a database that will allow dog parents to see what diseases their pets are most at risk for.

Fetch by The Dodo — previously known as Petplan — has been processing medical claims for dogs for over 16 years. In that time, they’ve gathered over 150 million data points, Forbes reportsfrom over 725,000 dogs.

Using that data, the database allows dog parents to enter their pet’s age, breed, and zip code. In turn, dog parents receive a comprehensive health report on their pup, through a link from the Fetch by The Dodo website.

Building a Dog Health Database

Fetch by The Dodo partnered with Dr. Audrey Ruple, an associate professor of Quantitative Epidemiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. In Dr. Ruple’s own words, “I’m a veterinarian who practices medicine through data.”

According to Dr. Ruple, the sheer size of the data set Fetch accumulated has lots of potential applications. After combining the data with machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, Dr. Ruple created a highly-accurate tool that can predict health outcomes for all kinds of dogs.

Importantly, the data “reflects a representative mix of dogs, not just purebred dogs,” throughout North America. In turn, this makes the model valuable for parents of mixed-breed and purebred dogs. The comprehensive nature of the model also means dog parents can access information that even their own vets may not be aware of. For example, Dr. Ruple learned that her 6-month-old poodle has a higher risk of ingesting foreign objects.

Show Me the Money

Not surprisingly, Fetch’s main motivation for developing the model is to increase its market share in the pet care industry. Paul Guyardo, CEO of Fetch by The Dodo, told Forbes:

“When it comes to insurance, and when it comes to pet health and wellness, [people] want more than just peace of mind… they want tangible facts on how to keep their pet healthy and how to prevent the pet from getting sick in the first place.”

As such, the health reports are being marketed mainly to younger, more tech-fluent dog parents. Guyardo believes the technology Fetch is developing will “resonate with all parents, particularly millennials and Gen Z.” Ultimately, Fetch by The Dodo wants to be seen as a “source of information and advice, as well as a provider of insurance coverage.”

As of now, Fetch is letting dog parents join a waitlist for the reports through this link. When the platform becomes publicly available later this year, the health reports will be emailed.

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