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Digitalisation in cattle practice - results of an online-survey in Austria

HumanInsight Digitalisation in cattle practice - results of an online-survey in Austria

Tierarztl Prax Ausg G Grosstiere Nutztiere. 2023 Apr;51(2):70-76. doi: 10.1055/a-2050-4123. Epub 2023 May 25.


OBJECTIVES: The use of digital technologies is increasing in modern livestock farming and veterinary practice. The aim of this online survey among Austrian cattle practitioners was to increase knowledge concerning the acceptance and use of digital (sensor) technologies.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The link to the survey was sent by the Austrian animal health services (TGD) via email to the registered veterinarians. A total of 115 veterinarians participated in the survey.

RESULTS: Most of the participants were convinced that digitalisation associated with improvements in their profession in terms of economy, time-savings, collaboration with colleagues and working efficiency. The agreement ranged between 60% and 79%. On the other hand, concerns regarding data security (41%) were also raised. When asked whether they would recommend sensor systems to farmers, approximately 45% of the participants answered yes, 36% declined, 19% were undecided. From a list of specified sensors and technologies, monitoring by cameras (68%), automatic concentrate feeding systems (63%) and activity sensors (61%) were considered as beneficial for animal health. Concerning an assessment of the animals' health status the majority of respondents (58%) would trust conventional methods more than sensor systems. Data provided by farmers is mainly used to improve the understanding of patients' disease progression (67%) as well as to comply with documentation requirements (28%). In addition, we asked whether the participants could imagine running a telemedicine practice. On a scale ranging from 1 to 100, initial agreement amounted to a median of 20 which then decreased to a median of 4 in the repeated question at the end of the questionnaire.

CONCLUSIONS: The veterinarians saw advantages in using digital technologies both in their daily work and to improve animal health management. In some areas, however, clear reservations were evident . A telemedical offer does not seem to be relevant for the majority of the participants in the context of the description provided.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The results are intended to help identify areas in which more information is needed for veterinarians and to capture a picture of opinions that could be relevant for the changing collaboration between farmers and veterinarians.

PMID:37230141 | DOI:10.1055/a-2050-4123

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