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January 29, 2024
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Facial Recognition Tech Brings Success in Disease Prediction Study

A collaborative study between animal agtech startup MyAnIML and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) successfully corroborated the technology’s predictive ability to proactively manage devastating disease outbreaks in cattle production. MyAnIML used proprietary facial recognition and deep learning technology to accurately predict Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), or bovine pinkeye, 99.4% of the time and several days before veterinarians were able to detect symptoms, according to published study results.

The study included 870 beef cattle located on three different Kansas ranches during the summers of 2021 and 2022. Bovine pinkeye is highly contagious and the most common ocular disease of cattle globally, costing U.S. producers alone an estimated $150 million annually in lost performance and treatment costs. There are no effective vaccines for IBK, forcing producers to treat infected animals with antibiotics, thereby elevating the risk of developing antibiotic-resistance bacteria strains that threaten human health.

MyAnIML’s patent-pending technology platform uses AI, facial recognition and inexpensive GoPro cameras to automatically capture and analyze subtle changes in a cow’s muzzle. Like a human fingerprint, each cattle muzzle is unique, and can be used to track specific cows. The technology can also predict other diseases, such as Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD), which costs the U.S. feedlot industry potentially more than $900 million annually.

Since its founding in 2021, MyAniML has:

  • Developed a proprietary dataset of 3000 muzzle images of beef cattle, the first cattle facial and muzzle image library for health management.
  • Partnered in trial projects with multiple Midwest cattle production facilities.
  • Released an inexpensive Bluetooth-enabled “smart” ear tag and app that helps large-scale commercial feedlots and stockyards quickly locate potentially sick animals identified by the MyAnIML predictive platform.
  • Signed a partnership agreement with DairyFI, an India-based startup, in January. With 308 million cows, India has the largest cattle herd in the world, but suffers from lack of adequate cattle health services, greatly reducing the economic and productivity potential of India’s cattle industry.

With positive results from the collaboration, large-scale trials, veterinarian feedback and ongoing product development, MyAnIML is getting ready for broad-scale commercialization. The company received angel investment funding in 2021 and is currently in the process of a seed funding investment round to expand its technology in cattle, as well as to include other livestock and companion animals.

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