Notify Now – Victoria launches its Animal Disease Notification App

This week marks the launch by the Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes of a new mobile application called “Notify Now” that Gaia Resources has developed for the Chief Veterinary Officer’s Unit in the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR). This workflow-driven Animal Disease Notification app will be available on iOS and Android devices, and our team have worked really hard to design and build something that will streamline and capture all the information a vet, animal owner or property owner needs to supply when they spot a ‘notifiable’ animal health concern.

Once the Terms and Conditions are accepted, one can call an emergency hotline, find out more information about notifiable diseases, or start filling out a new notification. As the info link tells us “Early recognition of a serious or exotic animal disease is one of the most important factors influencing the chance of controlling the disease and reducing economic and social impact on the whole community.”

   
The Home page of the app (left) provides a number of resources to start a notification, find out more information or provide feedback. A graphic based pick list (right) allows for quick selection of an animal type before moving to the next step in the workflow.

Our client Sally Salmon at the Chief Veterinary Officer’s Unit, gives us the back story:

“Agriculture Victoria engaged Gaia Resources to develop a smart phone app that would allow users to easily and quickly notify the Department of the presence or suspicion of notifiable animal diseases. The app is primarily directed to vets, but it can also be used by animal owners, primary producers, livestock agents and other people who work with animals.”

“The key parts of the app are the ability to call the Exotic Animal Disease hotline, add geo-located pictures to the submission, and include all the details required under the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994.  The information goes directly to the Chief Veterinary Officer’s Unit email inbox.”

   
The map and geocoding feature (left) reduces time to enter address details; and the form entry details – which include pick lists and conditional field display (right) – are compiled along with photographs into an email notification. 

“The development included testing phases with a large number of Agriculture Victoria staff.

The app is available now on the App Store and Google Play, just search for ‘Notify Now’.”

“More information on notifiable diseases is available at the AgVic web site, http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/animal-diseases/notifiable-diseases.”

We are looking forward to seeing how vets and animal owners across Victoria think of the app and how much easier it makes reporting over the manual PDF form download approach. As with so many professions, it makes a big difference if you can apply some technological smarts to help people ‘find time’ and focus on their core work. This includes time saved by the staff at DJPR who can quickly act on a submitted notification.

As a side note, our team has increasingly been working on Health-related projects, and in this context – I would just like to draw attention to the interrelationships between human health, environmental health and animal health. It has been interesting to pick up through discussions and research that a “One Health” concept is seen as an important component of an effective and holistic health system; that we need to consider the health of our animals and food chain, as well as the health of the environment we live in.

In time we would like to help government agencies develop analytics capabilities by integrating these systems that might ‘live’ in different agencies or beyond their own servers, to share these different datasets and to monitor trends and relationships. Some of our clients are already reaching out to use technology to do this, and we looking forward to working with them to achieve their objectives.

Feel free to drop send me an email if you want to find out more, or start a conversation with us on social media via FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Chris

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