THE WORK of vets could be made easier thanks to an innovation by a Stratford company.
Ademen Limited, founded by Alistair Foster and three colleagues in 2020, has developed a wireless stethoscope called ‘VetaScope’ which vets can use to listen to animal heartbeats and other internal sounds much more clearly, and with less need to keep an animal still to get an accurate reading.
The VetaScope, when linked to the companion app, is also able to produce a clear visual image of the data it captures, which means the vet is able to make a much more informed diagnosis compared to relying solely on the interpretation of the sounds they hear using a traditional stethoscope.
Alistair founded Ademen alongside fellow directors Victoria Yardley, Daniel Cox and Yan Pugh-Jones, who all knew each other from their time in the automotive sector.
The four looked to bring their skills to the healthcare and veterinary care markets, and the cross-industry shift has enabled them to create solutions by listening to the people working in the industry, free from the bias of embedded industry norms.
They felt there was potential in creating something that could capture digital data accurately, and realised that while equipment like ECGs were very advanced in this regard, instruments like stethoscopes were still reliant on individuals subjectively interpreting sounds rather than collecting unambiguous digital data.
Ademen developed a prototype stethoscope which uses a Bluetooth connection to play the sounds it detects through a pair of wireless headphones. The user is able to adjust the volume and move around while listening.
Alistair approached Animal House Vets in Warwick, run by Hugh Duffin, to see if his practice was willing to try VetaScope out. Hugh agreed and has successfully used it on all sorts of animals.
Hugh said: “It’s an incredibly useful piece of kit – I can attach the stethoscope to the animal and listen clearly to the sounds through wireless headphones. It then doesn’t matter if the animal moves around because the sound is still clear.
“Having the ability to adjust the volume is a very useful feature too – it means you can hear the tiny, quick heartbeat of a hamster and the far slower pulse of a horse with the same instrument.
“It’s a fantastic product for our industry and will enable us to make much more accurate and timely diagnoses.”
Thanks to support from Business Ready – which delivers support to expanding businesses managed by the business support team at the University of Warwick Science Park – Ademen is now in a position to take VetaScope to market.