Muzzles can Detect Early Disease Onset with myAnIML’s Facial Recognition Technology
Published on Thu, 03/31/2022 - 11:07am
Muzzles can Detect Early Disease Onset with myAnIML’s Facial Recognition Technology.
Article courtesy of myAnIML.
Muzzles can detect early disease onset with myAnIML’s facial recognition technology. What if you could effectively identify your sick animals before any symptoms were present? Better yet, what if this could be done in a technologically advanced way that didn’t take up any of your valuable time? A company called myAnIML is taking the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to a whole new level with facial analysis technology to read subtle changes in bovine muzzles to identify diseases as far as two to three days in advance of any clinical symptoms.
All you need is a smartphone or any other action camera such as GoPro. Shekhar Gupta, myAnIML founder and CEO, says the company is focused on making the entire process similar to plug and play technology.
“The current pandemic has very well taught us the importance of containing the infection and detecting and treating the disease at its onset,” says Swati Narang, a data scientist with myAnIML.
Putting a price on prevention
It costs the cattle industry over $200 billion annually in disease treatment and death loss, according to estimates. And even during a good year, the profit margins for beef and dairy producers are often razor thin. With treatment for preventable conditions, profits can dissipate by a single outbreak of respiratory illness, pinkeye, mastitis or any number of other ailments.
Consider a case of pinkeye. This disease alone can cost over $13,000 in treatment and over $39,000 loss in revenue to a 500 head herd, according to a veterinary model created for myAnIML. On average, this disease has a very high infection rate – 90%. A single animal will likely transfer pinkeye to 450 of its fellow herdmates.
With myAnIML, early detection and quarantine of a single infected only equates to $50 lost in revenue, another $30 in antibiotic therapy and the $4,500 annual subscription cost of the software.
myAnIML uses computer vision to analyze face and muzzle of a cow to predict diseases. Narang, whose job it is to lead, design and develop their system with Artificial Intelligence and Amazon Web Services, says they are proudly pioneering AI-based early disease prediction and tracking.
“(Our) product…detects the onset of diseases in the cattle at an early stage which not only reduces the cost of treatment for the infected animal, but also helps contain the transmission of disease to other animals via isolation,” she explains.
Nathan Leiker, a fifth-generation farmer from western Kansas, has put myAnIML to the test with his heard of 400 Angus cows.
“At first I was kind of skeptical about it until we did it and started seeing a few results,” he explains. “We’d start getting a few “hits” that might be an indicator of a sick animal. Those animals actually did come up with being sick and then got treated…It seems to be working very well.”
The cow’s muzzle, unique as a human’s fingerprint, will begin to display irregularities, which signals an oncoming disease. MyAnIML’s patent-pending artificial intelligence compares an image of the muzzle in question and matches it with changes typical of certain diseases that are in the system.
“At myAnIML, we are creating new computer models that understand animal health,” explains Ryan McNair, the company’s solutions architect. “We are building new models that offer capabilities never seen before.”
McNair says that their technology incorporates some already tried and true methods from other industries but specifically honed them for farmers and ranchers in everyday environments.
“myAnIML makes it possible to monitor the health of every animal every day. This enables all those involved in animal husbandry to provide better care by identifying problems sooner, when they are more easily treated,” says McNair. “I think we will make a material improvement to the general wellbeing of cattle and other livestock.”
Speaking as a farmer, Leiker believes that myAnIML’s technology is a “gamechanger.”
“The animal industry has a hard time capturing and holding labor…specialized labor can diagnose and see a problem in an animal and a non-specialized labor just sees an animal,” he says. “With this technology… you can hire non-specialized people to come in and provide personalized service at a fraction of the cost.”