Sue Samuelsson is not one to let the grass grow under her feet. Five years ago, she was the creator of i-Vet, which provides online consultations for owners of companion animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and other pocket pets.
I-Vet is a ground-breaking online veterinary service that provides access to real-time online veterinary care and advice for people living in remote areas or those isolated by disability. Many clients can’t travel, or don’t have access to pet carriers, let alone find a taxi service happy to transport a sick animal.
The service uses video conferencing and the Internet to enable pet owners to have real-time consultations, some of which may take up to 20 minutes. Even emergencies are catered for, as worried owners can use an after-hours phone number which immediately connects with a vet. This service – and the reassurance of face-to-face contact with an expert – provides immediate relief and peace of mind for owners who otherwise may have to wait for hours to make an appointment. For remote clients, being able to access round-the-clock veterinary advice over the internet is a huge relief.
i-Vet has proved such a resounding success that it was named the winner of the Innovation Commendation Award at the 2016 Chief Minister’s NT Export & Industry Awards. These awards recognise outstanding achievements of NT exporters and industry leaders and promote the importance of international trade.
Sue was also the winner of the AFR / Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. As if that weren’t enough, Sue was also the only Territorian to be nominated for the Top 50 vets in Australia for the new Bondi Vet TV role. You can see her at https://bondivet.com/vet-search/sue-samuelsson and read the heart-felt comments by those who have benefitted from her inspiring work.
A typical comment reads:
Sue is an absolute inspiration. She has pioneered a system of distance diagnosis through advanced technology. Nothing wipes the smile from this woman’s face. She is invincible, kind, caring and lovely. I couldn’t think of anyone better to treat any animal from a frogspawn to a tiger!
Owners can also access “how to” videos which guide owners through techniques such as holding an animal correctly for the consultation and how to take a temperature correctly.
Although a video-conference could never replace a “hands-on” consultation, the rapid improvement of camera technology and the increase in broadband speeds have a convenience that is undeniably practical and reassuring for clients especially in remote areas. Among the many testimonials that Sue has received, Lauren Roberts sums up the huge need that i-Vet has filled for pet owners in remote areas.
“Living remote without access to a vet for another few days meant I was going to have to drive nine hours at night along a dirt track to the nearest vet clinic when Zen, my dog, was whimpering in pain for an unknown reason.”
Instead, I had an online consult with Dr Susanna Samuelsson of i-Vet. Sue talked me through where to feel, how to move Zen’s legs to test for various things, and was able to rule out any serious complications requiring immediate vet treatment. i-Vet is a fantastic service for those of us living remote, and anywhere else.”