With daily technological innovations, ongoing attrition, and a swirling and unpredictable economic climate, the veterinary industry is shifting and evolving at a rapid pace. Staying up-to-date on the latest trends and newsmakers may seem like yet another impossible task.
As veterinary copywriters, the Rumpus Writing and Editing team is always tuned in to rising trends, new technology, and industry buzz, and how they can shape our clients’ needs.
We realize that keeping up with the veterinary industry’s non-stop news ticker is almost impossible, so we’ve narrowed down the endless list of news articles and selected four key trends and topics to watch—and learn from—in 2023.
#1: DVM meet AI—artificial intelligence’s rising role in veterinary medicine
Artificial intelligence (AI) is not entirely new to veterinary medicine, but recent machine-learning tools such as ChatGPT, Jasper, and YouChat have thrust their power into the mainstream spotlight—and started a debate about AI’s true capabilities and ethical implications.
There’s no argument that some AI applications, such as disease detection, imaging interpretation, and cancer screenings, are improving veterinary efficiency and care access, or that user-friendly tools such as ChatGPT can generate free client education and marketing materials in minutes.
But, AI-powered veterinary medicine is not without significant risk. Experts warn AI fans to look past the newness and the seemingly limitless potential, to use the new technology with caution, and stay guarded about its accuracy and limitations.
#2: Virtually everywhere—telemedicine demand continues to soar
Telemedicine was born out of a desperate need in an uncertain time, but has now claimed a permanent position on the veterinary care landscape. Veterinary telemedicine for companion and large animal species will continue to expand with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 17% through 2030, according to market research.
Technology-enabled care provides mutual benefits for the veterinary-client-patient relationship, improving care access, increasing client compliance, supporting practice revenue, and allowing short-staffed veterinary teams to do more with less. Telemedicine also meets the modern veterinary professional’s desire for a flexible schedule and satisfies the 33% of veterinarians and 38% of technicians who prefer a hybrid work arrangement.
#3: Nothing new here—technician utilization prioritized over mid-level practitioners
Increasing veterinary care demands amid a serious talent drought brought mid-level practitioner discussions to the forefront in late 2022 and early 2023, and sparked a social media maelstrom. State and national veterinary and technician associations expressed their strong practical concerns until the volatile topic was extinguished—at least temporarily—at the AVMA’s House of Delegates winter session in January.
The committee proposed a more practical “use-what-we-have” approach to alleviating the ongoing labor crisis, rather than reinventing the veterinary wheel. Their recommendations included elevating and recognizing credentialed veterinary technicians through appropriate utilization, support, title protection, financial compensation, and growth opportunities, such as veterinary technician specialties.
Although progress on this issue is unlikely to advance as quickly as technology, the veterinary community has recognized the need for change, and the conversation is moving forward.
#4: At your service—veterinary medicine becomes increasingly personal
If veterinary medicine’s ongoing evolution is any indication, we can safely say that Millennials, who are today’s largest pet-owning age group, always get what they want. Millennials have been an inspiring force behind increasingly personalized veterinary care and, in return, they are rewarding veterinary practices with a previously unseen level of client loyalty and compliance.
To satisfy Millennial expectations, many practices are embracing an experience-based—versus service-based—approach that prioritizes getting to know the pet and the client’s pet care goals on a deeper level. Health innovations, such as wearable pet technology and genetic testing, are providing veterinarians and clients with previously unknowable pet health insights, while increased access to virtual care and communication with the veterinary team (e.g., practice apps, messaging) help devoted pet owners feel valued and recognized.
To satisfy and sustain this exceptional care level, some practices are shifting to an exclusive concierge medicine model (i.e., subscription- or membership-based care). Others are incorporating new strategies, such as relationship-based communication, strong client service skills, same-day appointments, pet wellness plans, telemedicine options for after-hours care, and shared decision-making, for more personalized pet care experiences.
Some veterinary trends and topics are as fleeting as the weather, while others inspire a permanent sea change. Will 2023 be a revolutionary year for how veterinary medicine is conceptualized and administered? Or, will we have another 365 days of choppy waves, punctuated by the occasional calm?
Either way, we are in for a ride.
If your 2023 marketing strategies are trending in the wrong direction, let the Rumpus Writing and Editing team right the course with award-winning digital and print copywriting services. Contact us to schedule a consultation.