Japanese researchers develop app that can detect pain in cats

Japanese researchers develop app that can detect pain in cats
Ryan General
July 11, 2023
A Japanese tech firm has released a free app that claims to identify signs of pain in cats.
Detecting pain: Tokyo-based company Carelogy launched “Cat Pain Detector” last month and has since accumulated 43,000 users primarily in Japan, as well as other territories in Europe and South America.
Developed in collaboration with Nihon University’s College of Bioresource Sciences, the application purportedly recognizes when a cat is experiencing discomfort. 
Pet owners can access the app by signing up for an account on the company’s website.
AI-powered: Using a dataset of 6,000 photos, the developers first analyzed the positioning of the ears, noses, whiskers and eyelids of healthy and unhealthy cats. 
By employing a scoring system devised by the University of Montreal, they were able to identify subtle differences between healthy cats and those enduring pain caused by hard-to-detect illnesses.
The collected data was then integrated into an artificial intelligence detection system, which further honed its skills through the analysis of approximately 600,000 user-uploaded photos. 
According to Carelogy Head Go Sakioka, the Cat Pain Detector app currently has an accuracy level exceeding 90%.
Useful tool: Given that 60% of cat owners in Japan take their pets to the veterinarian once a year, the app can be a reliable tool to help pet owners make informed decisions about their cats’ health. 
While some local veterinarians have already expressed support for the app, Sakioka admits that further improvements are needed before it can become a standardized tool. 
The Cat Pain Detector app is among a number of technologies geared towards pet owners who want to become more attuned to the well-being of their pets. Similar pain detectors and health trackers have also been developed in Canada and Israel.
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