Tably from An App that Uses AI for Feline Pain Assessment

vTably from An App that Uses AI for Feline Pain Assessment


Tably from An App that Uses AI for Feline Pain Assessment

A nagging problem for you as a pet owner is taking care of your ill cat. But cats are not like dogs; feline pain assessment is much more subtle. Veterinarians treat cats like small dogs and often miss what’s going on. 

Artificial innovation is bringing innovation in pet care. With an app developed by Dr. Groeneveld, an AI program can now accurately read the pain scale of a cat up to 96 percent. All you have to do is take many pictures of cats.

Many skeptics would raise an eyebrow, but there are symptoms invisible to the human eye that the program can catch. Like humans’ facial recognition tools, the Ai accomplishes this by reading the ratio of the cat’s eyes, ears, and muscles. The program has a patent, and companies, even the tech experts at Silicon Valley, have been interested. 


Diagnosing Cats

Tably from An App that Uses AI for Feline Pain Assessment

If your cat is over eight years old, it is bound to have a stack of health issues—arthritis and other declining health problems. However, older cats often hide in pain, so gauging their pain levels is much more complex.

If your cat is in pain, the app can tell you when to bring it to the vet. 

“The industry for pet care is growing, but cats still need to receive preventive care more than dogs”.


How AI Can Solve the Problem of Pain Assessment in Cats

Tably from An App that Uses AI for Feline Pain Assessment

Dr. Groeneveld says she hopes that through the app, big lakes of data can help the species as a whole and take digital medicine to new heights. She says their approach is domain-led instead of product-led, so they can be more motivated and stay true to their purpose.

The biggest market for the product, she reveals, is millennials. If you are one, you understand how paranoid you can get in predicting your cat’s mood. Is the cat just being grumpy, or is it in pain already? The app can validate that you are doing a great job as a responsible pet owner.

Since AI is concerned, some are concerned about the ethics of this emerging practice. But the founder believes that if we embrace AI and hold ourselves accountable, there is nothing to worry about.


If you want to check out the app, it is available in iOS (for now), and the name is Tably. You can check out more details on the Sylvester AI website!

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Susan: Well, I’m Susan Groeneveld and you’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Excellent introduction, Susan.

So, tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Susan: Well, thank you. Pleasure to be here.

I think what I started with on the ranch—very, very, very busy on the ranch, there was lots of people coming and going.

And the thing that always struck me is when a veterinarian rolled in to help the animals, everything stopped. Everybody stopped for the veterinarian.

And it made me understand that the ability to help animals that are suffering is one of the highest goals that we can have in how we present ourselves as humans.

Chris: So, tell us more about Sylvester. I mean, what does it do? How does it work?

Susan: Yeah, so our technology was actually created, again— when we were in the not-for-profit space, we could see that—there was a big barrier for people understanding the species.

And it was really interesting. Even the professionals, they would say that they understand cats, but we tend to apply the same thinking to cats that we do dogs.

And they—we just shouldn’t do that. Cats are not small dogs, as many veterinarians—

Chris: I’m fascinated by the fact that your background is not necessarily in technology, but you knew that you wanted to do something to help.

Susan: So, this is just like the funniest. Everybody has a funny story, right?

So, we actually went through in the not-for-profit. We knew we wanted to do something more for the species, and in a not-for-profit environment, it’s fantastic, but—you know, follow the money.

You’re really always beholden to someone sponsoring or finding that traction point in the fundraising. 

So, we knew we wanted to do something, and we did a lot of like, what are the real pain points for a cat parent?

What keeps them up at night? And the biggest pain problem, really, today is litter.

Chris: So, tell us how it works, right?

So, I’m taking pictures. I have five cats, right? And so, you’re trying to test or you’re trying to tell me, is my cat in pain?

Is it something I need to take them to the vet?

Susan: The way it is, we’re still, I’d say MVP. So, right now we’re just on iOS and it’s free.

And we did actually some early monetization, and we had a really decent conversion at about 3% in a freemium model to a monthly subscription, so, how the tech—and so, API into other telehealth platforms.

And as you know, digital medicine telehealth is a burgeoning market, and so will there be an opportunity based on the behavior of the cat and how they’re presenting, where we might be able to predict certain states that the cat might be in?

So, we’re just getting started. AI is just the beginning.

Chris: Yeah, I was going to say, what’s the vision? Where do you want to take this? As you said, there’s so many different directions you could go with AI and all of this data modeling.

Susan: The opportunity will be in the data for sure, but, like, short term, you know, we’re going to prove out some monetization with these telehealth platforms.

We strongly believe that we’ll be able to convert people on these platforms into subscription models because of the tracking over time and a wellness model approach.

But we really believe that the power of where we’re going is having multitenant data. So, our real big picture here is creating those big lakes of data on the species itself, because I believe it’s the new frontier for digital medicine.

Chris: Nice, so, Susan, I mean, this isn’t your first company and this isn’t your first entrepreneurial venture, but I’m curious what you’ve learned about yourself in the process of this one.

Susan: Resilience.

And I think—you know what, we didn’t start with something that was like, hey, we know exactly how this is going to roll out, because we’re pioneering, right?

We’re creating tech that doesn’t exist. And then we’re working with other startups in telemedicine because that’s relatively new, especially since COVID.

So, there’s a lot of learning of collaboration.

And so, I think what I’ve really learned about myself is this isn’t a single-person journey. This is really to do the best for the species, we need to collaborate.

And I believe this tech can fit with every kind of group. And I also really believe it should be accessible at some level to people that can’t afford necessarily to have a subscription or whatnot.

So, I think learning about myself is tenacious, and if you’re doing something because you feel like it’s a purpose like you know why you’re doing it, that’s actually crucial to success.

Chris: Yeah. So, Susan, if people want to learn more, they want to give it a shot, where can they go?

Susan: You can download the app today. It’s called Tably, but you can use the app today for free. But you could also go to our website at SYLVESTER.AI and just learn a little bit more about us and drop us a line at [email protected] If you’d like to really talk to us.

Chris: Maybe somebody’s watching, listening, and this has inspired them, or they have an idea for something that’s helping animals. We’d love to know about it.

Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and we’d love to have you come on the show.

And of course, we can always use more volunteers at DOOBERT.COM Become one of the tens of thousands of Dooberteers across the country and around the world that are volunteering their time to help animals.

You can be a foster, a transporter even by buying your pet food through Doobert, we’ll donate 5% to the rescue or shelter of your choice.So, check it out at DOOBERT.COM.

Susan, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for everything you’re doing. And I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen with all this data.

Susan: Yeah, you bet.

Thanks so much, Chris, I appreciated the time.

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