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“Robots Won’t Replace Vets or Vet Nurses, But they Will Play a Part” Says Veterinary Pioneer

World First Virtual Assistant to Help Pet Owners Fill Pet Scripts Goes "Live"

Penny isn’t a vet, vet nurse, pharmacist or pharmacy assistant, but she is about to become an important part of the billion dollar Australian  pet medicine business and change the way Australian pet owners buy prescription pet medicines. Or at least, that’s what her creators at the VetShopGroup believe.

Penny the PetScripts Virtual Assistant is what is known as a chat-bot, an artificial intelligence powered program capable of answering questions and giving guidance to pet owners wanting to buy prescription medicines for their pet.

Penny is the first chat-bot in the world specifically created to help pet owners buy pet medicines.

Created by acknowledged pioneers in the animal health supplies business, Dr Mark Perissinotto BVSc and his brother Steven,  Penny means that Australian pet owners wanting to fill pet prescriptions online now get 24 hour robo-support at online pet pharmacy PetScripts.com.au.

Penny draws on PetScripts database of knowledge to answer customers’ questions about filling scripts online. She is also constantly learning and improving. If she can’t answer your question, she gets a real person to answer, and she then learns that answer for next time.

Penny doesn’t give pet health advice or recommend medicines. Or at least she doesn’t yet. Her creators acknowledge that while the role of AI in animal medicine continues to move forward in leaps and bounds, Aussie pet owners don’t need to worry that robots are going to replace their friendly vet any time soon.

“ Robots are tools to make our life easier, not replace real people” says PetScripts managing director and chief vet, Dr Mark Perissinotto. “Your veterinarian is absolutely the best person to examine your pet and advise on what medicines your pet needs, and Penny is not intended to replace that. But the process of getting scripts ordered and filled can and should be streamlined. That’s where Penny and online pet pharmacies like PetScripts.com.au comes in."

“Getting a pet prescription filled online isn’t as simple as say buying a pair a book or airline ticket, and it isn’t something people would necessarily do every day.” Dr Perissinotto says. “Most first time online pet pharmacy customers need help or have questions and PetScripts wants to make getting that assistance as easy as we can. Because it’s simply not possible to have a real live Australian vet tech or pharmacy assistant available 24 hours a day, Penny is here to help”.

While Penny represents the first foray in to AI for the VetShopGroup, the Perissinotto brothers have a history of leading the way when it comes to pet health in Australia.  They launched the first online retailer of pet health products way back in 1999! In the last decade they’ve used technology to give them a leadership position in the field, driving down costs, recruiting new customers, acquiring competitors and increasing delivery efficiencies and have grown to be the largest vet owned pet health products retailer in Australia. In 2016 they launched PetScripts.com.au to  allow Australian pet owners to fill pet prescriptions online with Australian registered pharmacists. (Note: a valid prescription from an Australian veterinarian is required to order pet medicines from PetScripts.com.au).

For further information visit www.PetScripts.com.au or contact Steven Perissinotto  steven@vetshopgroup.com