In the name of big data—big insights

May 6, 2020
Health & Fitness

Did you know one of the top reasons pet parents take their dogs to the vet is because of licking and scratching activity?

That’s why those comprise the first set of behaviors we brought in to the new Whistle Health feature on the Whistle app. If the app reports excessive licking and scratching, you’ll have the data to share with your vet for a more precise diagnosis.


These groundbreaking health insights are a product of our partnership with Pet Insight Project (PI), a team of data scientists, technologists, and vets, and Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest veterinary center in the United States. Scientists from PI and vets from Banfield analyze data collected from our Whistle devices. This allows them to compare the behaviors of tens of thousands of dogs, which include hundreds of different breeds and mixes. 


Launched in 2018, the Pet Insight Project team spends its time building and analyzing one of the largest and most comprehensive health datasets ever assembled. At the center of this canine health database are machine-learning algorithms that translate the accelerometer data they receive from Whistle's fleet of activity tracking and GPS devices into real-life behaviors like scratching, licking, drinking, and eating.


In an unprecedented investment, Pet Insight Project has distributed almost 100,000 Whistle devices to pet owners who have enrolled as citizen scientists in the Project, and has collected more than 16 billion minutes of accelerometer data from these dogs.


Together, we’re creating a better future for your pet’s health. 


Here’s how it works – Whistle GO, Whistle GO Explore, and Whistle FIT trackers monitor your pet’s behavior (running, walking, licking, etc.) every second of the day. PI takes that information and compares it to thousands of health records from Banfield Pet Hospital, allowing the researchers to track patterns, which translates to a better understanding of your dog’s well-being. When new learnings emerge, we roll those insights into new Whistle features that will help pet parents catch issues that would otherwise be impossible to notice. 



Licking and scratching is just the start.

With our powerful PI team and innovative process, we aim to soon be able to answer other pet parents’ questions like: Has my dog’s gait changed? and Does my dog bark excessively when I leave for work? And maybe even, Is my dog happy?


Pets can’t talk, so we’re doing everything we can to give them a voice.

Their actions tell us everything we need to know, so we’re developing technology and research practices that allow pet parents to understand their pets better than ever before. In the process, we’re helping to transform conventional vet care by elevating it to a new level of personalized care. 


Pet parents want to be active participants in their pets’ well-being, so we empower them to make the best health and wellness decisions by using the actionable insights and personalized data Whistle tech provides. Our 30-Day Wellness Reports are available to be sent to a pet care provider straight from the Whistle app, enabling pet parents to have more informed conversations with their vets. 


Pets are family, and we believe that just as there has been digital innovation in human health, our pets deserve that same level of care. PI and Whistle work to bring science out of the lab and into the home where it can be the most useful. Through this early awareness of behavior changes – some nearly invisible to the human eye – we can more soundly care for the pets we love so much. 

 

If you are a pet parent with a Whistle tracker and an appetite for data, you and your pet are on the path to better care, more detailed knowledge, and a worry-free joy that’s off the leash.