Mars Petcare launches pet health studies seeking to uncover early signs of illness

Wearable pet tech and electronic vet records aim to connect behavior to pet health

-TXDM Staff

At the April 5 Veterinary Innovation Summit held in College Station, Mars Petcare announced the launch of Pet Insight Project, a three-year study of more than 200,000 dogs across the nation to uncover important links between pet activity, behavior and health.

A news release explained that through its pet tracker business Whistle and veterinary care practice Banfield Pet Hospital, Mars Petcare is hoping to enable a new era of proactive, preventive care for pets.

The longitudinal study will using machine learning, rich data science and deep veterinary expertise to better understand when behavior may be a sign of change in a pet’s health, which Mars Petcare hopes will make it possible for pet owners to better partner with their veterinarian on treatment.

The study will continuously capture behavior data from hundreds of thousands of participating pets through the Whistle Fit purpose-build activity monitor and correlate that information with repeat wellness visits to Banfield hospitals, the release said.

This combination of insights will then be analyzed by data scientists and veterinary professionals to map relevant patterns of pet behaviors and movement with illness, to aid in more precise detection of ailments – and eventually, early warnings.

“Innovative projects like Pet Insight Project are exactly what this industry needs to drive care forward,” NAVC CEO Tom Bohn said in the release. “Technology and big data are powerful tools that could radically alter how we deliver veterinary care. This notion of transforming veterinary medicine is the driving force behind NAVC’s Veterinary Innovation Council and the Veterinary Innovation Summit, and resonates strongly with our Summit attendees working hard to transform pet health.”

According to Mars Petcare, the Pet Insight Project is one of the largest tech-enabled studies of pet health, in which participating pet owners agreed to have their pets take part in this revolutionary study.

“We are undertaking this cutting-edge research to pursue a future in which pet health care is improved by data-driven insights that connect pet owners and veterinarians,” Leonid Sudakov, president of Connected Solutions, the global ventures, genetics, data and analytics division at Mars Petcare, said in the release. “This collaborative approach is a great illustration of how we are leveraging our unique business scale, science and data capabilities to deliver on our purpose: ‘A Better World for Pets’.”

Pet Insight Project is now enrolling participants across the United States. For more information, visit

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