Real-time cow scans to go global

Cows DNA is an Irish company set up to develop technology for ultrasound assessment of bovine reproduction and this month it launched ScanMan, an innovative product which it hopes to sell worldwide. 

Speaking to AgriLand, Dr Dan Ryan of CowsDNA explained. “ScanMan is a data management solution for managing and supporting ultrasound assessment of bovines.

“Historically the problems faced by farmers at farm level is not knowing how long a cow has been calved, served, how old, expect by looking at the cow or from a farmers’ notebook and a lot of this data may be simply lost, which makes the whole exercise meaningless,” he said.

Linking up with University College Dublin, Teagasc and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, it collected 300,000 scans over the past three years to create a herd database to develop the product.

“And now CowsDNA and ScanMan has solved this real-time data problem. We can record data on-farm with a built-in system scanning system and a keypad where real-time information, the passport of the cow, can be drawn up.”

This web-based interface requires only broadband connection and the client farms and herd data automatically loads from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation database.

According to Dr Ryan, the benefits include better diagnosis decisions based on animal passport data, a stronger farmer-vet relationship and immediate access to ultrasound assessment results on a herd-wide basis down to individual animals.

“Research has shown a missed heat in a cow can cost farmers €250, which is an incredible cost. Using this technology farmers and vets can combat this, they know what to do,” he added.

Dr Ryan confirmed CowsDNA is currently in talks with a leading veterinary group to roll out the product nationwide and he is confident it will not stop there.

“We expect this product will be rolled out to a global market,” he said. “This technology can deliver the potential to enhance reproductive performance while at the same time achieve the objective of preventive health management. Healthy cows is healthy food.”