IVC Evidensia Revolutionises Clinic Diagnostics In The UK With AI-Powered Radiology

Continuing to innovate in veterinary care and diagnostics, IVC Evidensia is adopting new technology in the UK that uses artificial intelligence to provide accurate and exceedingly rapid radiology reports, slashing diagnostic time from days to minutes, helping improve the experience for pet owners in line with our purpose: healthy animals, happy owners. 

The technology, already being used successfully in our Canada operations, is developed by US firm SignalPET. The system sends X-rays digitally through an AI Machine Algorithm and receives them back almost instantly, rather than needing a radiology specialist to analyse results, which can take up to three days.  

A UK first, it has clear benefits as it is very quick in determining a diagnosis with a high degree of accuracy – identifying typically clear changes such as osteoarthritis, or more challenging interpretations such as lung or abdominal abnormalities.

As one of the world’s leading veterinary care providers, IVC Evidensia will launch the technology into all of its daytime and out-of-hours UK clinics and hospitals.

Alistair Cliff, IVC Evidensia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, commented, “The AI radiology process developed by SignalPET represents a real revolution in how results are analysed. The overwhelming success of our initial trial in November means we are confident in pushing ahead with rolling out the technology in the UK this year and eventually, in Europe too. Some of our Canadian clinics already use the system and find it incredibly beneficial.

“As leaders in clinical excellence and innovation, we’re pleased to be the first veterinary business to roll this technology out in the UK.”

Initially, the AI technology had been implemented as a trial from November 2021 in 22 IVC Evidensia sites across the UK for up to 12 weeks to better understand the benefits of this ground-breaking technology and how to best adapt ways of working around it.

After almost 1,000 studies from trial clinics, it was clear there were huge benefits, including saving valuable time for clinicians, cost, and improving confidence in the diagnosis.

The majority of trial teams viewed the technology as a positive diagnostic aid, supporting their own professional opinion, giving it a 95% approval rating. It also served as a learning tool, increasing the confidence and clinical independence of younger or newly qualified vets.

Sarah Merrell, Clinical Director at Lincvet, a group of IVC Evidensia clinics in Lincoln and one of the trial clinics, commented, “SignalPET has proved really valuable – giving us excellent support for radiography. It has been used by both our highly experienced and newly graduated clinicians to get a second set of ‘eyes’ on our cases giving reassurance and support when reading our radiographs. 

“Overall, it has improved clinician confidence, reduced the pressure on senior vets, given us an additional tool for training and development, and greatly enhanced client understanding of our findings.”

Jane Feneley, Clinical Director at Summerhill Vet Centre, an IVC Evidensia clinic in Norfolk and another trial site, added, “SignalPET has provided us with significant benefits in our clinic. It gives our younger vets more information to aid diagnosis and gives confidence to radiograph cases. It also gives more experienced vets the confidence that what has been diagnosed is correct and that nothing has been missed.

“The report that is generated is a great resource to give to clients and adds value to our service. We would not want to be without this system having now used it.”

The roll-out across IVC Evidensia UK sites, as well as additional sites in mainland Europe and the EU, will begin immediately.