Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, among other things, changed the face of veterinary medicine. Veterinary telehealth has increased significantly since 2020, as more people have sought care for their pets from remote locations. The market for veterinary telehealth is predicted to grow as new technology enables veterinarians to reach animals in remote locations that wouldn’t otherwise receive care. Many countries have veterinarian shortages that are accompanying a booming pet industry. Telehealth is at least a partial solution to these challenges.
To understand just how big veterinary telehealth is around the world, let’s look at the current market trends and statistics.
Top 10 Veterinary Telehealth Statistics
- The global veterinary telehealth market was valued at $119.6 million in 2021.
- The veterinary telehealth market is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 17.6% between 2022 and 2030.
- Livestock accounted for 27.16% of veterinary telehealth revenue in 2021.
- North America dominates the veterinary telehealth market, accounting for 37% of the market share in 2021.
- The Asia-Pacific veterinary telehealth market is expected to see an annual growth rate of 18.7% between 2022 and 2030.
- The U.S. veterinary telehealth market is expected to reach $546.8 million by 2030.
- Tele-consulting dominated the market with 29.08% of the revenue share in 2021.
- Daily downloads for virtual pet apps increased by 40% in March 2020.
- The telemedicine platform Medici has seen pet consultations increase by 170% per month since 2020.
- Airvet, a popular U.S. veterinary telehealth service, announced $14 million in funding to increase service delivery to pet owners.
General Veterinary Telehealth Statistics
1. The global veterinary telehealth market was valued at $119.6 million in 2021.
Most of this drastic increase can be attributed to public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but other factors are involved in the growth of the industry. More people have adopted pets during this period, leading to an increased demand for veterinary care. The prevalence of chronic disease and zoonotic disease is also a major market driver.
2. The veterinary telehealth market is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 17.6% between 2022 and 2030.
Since the introduction of veterinary telehealth as a primary care method, interest has been steadily increasing. For treating livestock, telehealth is an appealing option. Getting large animals to a veterinarian isn’t easy, and traditionally, vets have made “farm calls” to offer treatment. Telehealth offers a cost-effective and time-saving solution for farmers and vets alike.
The expansion in the market is also due to a serious crisis in the veterinary industry. The number of pets needed is climbing in the midst of a shortage of veterinarians. Veterinary telehealth expansion enables vets to see more patients in a shorter time period.
3. Livestock accounted for 27.16% of veterinary telehealth revenue in 2021.
There’s no question as to why livestock accounts for the largest proportion of animals seen through telehealth appointments. It is a much simpler and less time-consuming way for veterinarians to assess large volumes of animals without having to travel to them.
The canine segment of veterinary telehealth is the fastest-growing animal type using veterinary telehealth, following livestock.
Given that livestock veterinary care has been one of the biggest drivers of growth in the veterinary telehealth industry, it follows that North America is dominating the market because the continent has the largest number of livestock.
Geography also plays a factor. While some European countries have just as much livestock per capita as North America does, Canada’s infrastructure and that of the U.S. are spread out. Driving to individual farms takes significant amounts of time, and many farmers are hours from the nearest veterinarian. European countries are smaller and services tend to be closer together.
5. The Asia-Pacific veterinary telehealth market is expected to see an annual growth rate of 18.7% between 2022 and 2030.
This growth rate is due to significant upgrades in healthcare infrastructure and the rising number of veterinary healthcare facilities. China and India are making significant contributions to this growth.
The government of Andhra Pradesh, an Indian state, launched a veterinary telehealth facility in June 2021. High cattle populations are driving the telehealth market: China and India hold over 30% of the global cattle population.
6. The U.S. veterinary telehealth market is expected to reach $546.8 million by 2030.
This is based on the current growth rate of 17.6% per year, coupled with an increase in the adoption of telehealth services and the rising incidence of animal diseases.
Service and Platform Statistics
This has been primarily adopted for expert consultations and second opinions. General practitioner veterinarians are seeking consults from specialized services more frequently, as telehealth makes these consults available remotely.
8. Daily downloads for virtual vet apps increased by 40% in March 2020.
A San Francisco-based pet healthcare company, Fuzzy Pet Health, has seen a 15% increase in monthly customers and a 75% increase in the usage of wellness tools for tracking pet health since it launched its mobile app service.
9. The telemedicine platform Medici has seen pet consultations increase by 170% per month since 2020.
Between April 2020 and August 2020, Medici logged over 750,000 virtual visits and has grown its revenue by 30% per month.
10. Airvet, a popular U.S. veterinary telehealth service, announced $14 million in funding to increase service delivery to pet owners.
They’re not alone. Several veterinary telehealth services are investing in their platforms, including Virtuwoof, PetDesk, and AskVet. Even pet sites like Chewy are offering veterinary telehealth visits free of charge for auto-ship customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is telemedicine used in veterinary medicine?
Many veterinary hospitals and clinics offer their own telemedicine services that enable them to check on or consult with a patient remotely.
If your veterinarian doesn’t offer telemedicine services, there are other service providers that you can contact. The kind of care that you’ll be able to receive depends on the laws in your geographical area. (VCA Hospitals)
Is veterinary telehealth legal?
Yes, veterinary telehealth is legal. What varies with regard to legality is the ability to prescribe medications via telehealth. If you are receiving telemedicine services through your regular vet, and they have established a Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) with you and have access to your pet’s medical records, they may be able to prescribe medications via telehealth.
Telehealth visits with vets who have not established a VCPR are legal, but prescribing medication during these visits is not. (AVMA)
How much does a virtual vet visit cost?
Virtual vet visits with your regular veterinarian may cost the same as a regular visit to the clinic. The cost of other telehealth services varies depending on the service. Some offer subscriptions to their services for a monthly fee, while others charge per visit. As a general rule, you can expect your veterinary telehealth visit to cost between $30 and $50, as a physical visit to the clinic would. (Wired)
Can online vets prescribe medications?
The answer to this depends on whether you are having a telehealth visit with a veterinarian with whom you have an established relationship or are having an online consultation with an online vet service. If you are having a remote visit with your regular veterinarian, there have been exceptions made by the American Veterinary Association that enable your vet to prescribe medication remotely.
Online vets who have not personally examined your pet are not allowed to prescribe medications. Most regulatory bodies require that there be an established VCPR and that this must be established by an in-person exam. (PetMD)
What are the benefits of using an online vet?
What can you use online vet services for?
Online vets are great resources for general medical questions, product questions, or determining the urgency of your pet’s health concern.
When is it not appropriate to see an online vet?
There are a few instances where you should see your vet in person and skip the online vet visit.
These all constitute emergency situations, and you should get your pet to an in-person veterinarian as soon as possible.
The veterinary telehealth industry is growing at an exponential rate. There have been many industry growth drivers, including the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary shortages, and increases in chronic illness in pets. Given the convenience of veterinary telehealth, there is no reason that this industry won’t continue to see growth moving forward. While North America currently has a handle on the largest portion of the market, other areas, like the Asia-Pacific market, are following close behind.
Featured Image Credit: nakaridore, Freepik