Alan Radford

  • Webinar recorded on Tue 8th September, 2015
  • 0 hours 59 mins
  • 1 Comment

The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) was recently developed in the UK to improve companion animal-disease surveillance at local, regional and national scales by reusing data from participating veterinary laboratories and veterinary practices ( SAVSNET Ltd is a not-for-profit, charitable company, established between University of Liverpool and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA). SAVNSET collects anonymised electronic health records (EHRs) in real-time from participating veterinary practices using compatible versions of practice management software (currently PremVet, RoboVet and Teleos), on a consultation-by-consultation basis, including animal signalment (including species, breed, sex, neutering status, age, vaccination and treatment history, weight, insurance and microchipping status), clinical free text and owner’s post-code. A compulsory, single-question questionnaire is appended at the end of each consultation allowing the attending veterinary surgeon or nurse to categorise the main reason for the animals presentation (currently gastrointestinal, respiratory, pruritus, tumour, trauma, renal, “other sick”, vaccination, “other healthy” or post-operative check-up). This allows SAVSNET to collect a usable syndrome badge in real-time for every consultation. From labs the data gathered include for each test performed the species tested, sampling and diagnosis dates, sample type, diagnostic method and result, postcode area (first 1 or 2 letters of the postcode) of the submitting veterinarian. Here we will review how SAVSNET works and how people can benefit from participation, showcasing the work of SAVSNET using a pot pourri of recent outputs such as tick bites, firework phobia, rabbit health, effect of owner deprivation on health care, and the use of antibiotics in practice. Alan’s has two main interests in his research career. The first stems from his PhD and is on the genetic diversity and evolution of pathogens, especially viruses. Recent projects include canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus and feline calicivirus. He is currently working on a project to reappraise the role of old and potentially new pathogens in respiratory disease in dogs and cats. In working with these pathogens, Alan became aware of a distinct gap in knowledge concerning how common these pathogens are in veterinary practice, and whether some outbreaks of disease were being missed. This led Alan and colleagues to develop an interest in using big data to survey companion animal diseases, and ultimately to the establishment of SAVSNET (the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network – SAVSNET collects large volumes of anonymised data from participating veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories, and uses it to identify significant trends in the diseases seen by veterinary surgeons in practice.

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