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SKT launches country’s 1st AI diagnosis for dogs

Sept. 25, 2022 - 14:00 By Kan Hyeong-woo
SK Telecom's artificial intelligence-based veterinary image diagnostic service X Caliber (SK Telecom)

SK Telecom on Sunday unveiled the country’s first commercialized veterinary image diagnostic service based on artificial intelligence technology.

Named “X Caliber,” the AI solution provides medical reports when a veterinarian uploads X-ray pictures of the dog’s chest or musculoskeletal system to the service’s website. The autonomous diagnosis takes about 30 seconds, according to SK Telecom.

The company highlighted the importance of quick diagnosis, saying it would usually take about 24 hours to diagnose X-ray pictures of a dog's chest as the current method requires outsourcing of the images to visual experts.

“About 80 percent of companion animal hospitals have X-rays, but not every veterinarian is an imaging expert. So we expect X Caliber to improve the level of medical treatment for pets,” said O I-se, representative medical director of SKY Animal Medical Center.

In comparison to the diagnosis of veterinary imaging experts at major animal hospitals across the country, X Caliber showed an 86 percent accuracy in detecting musculoskeletal diseases, an 84 percent accuracy in detecting abnormal patterns in the dog’s chest and a 97 percent accuracy in measuring the size of the heart.

The state-run Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency on Sept. 14 granted X Caliber approval as the country’s first X-ray-based auxiliary software for detecting medical images of animals.

In order to develop X Caliber, SK Telecom has worked with five veterinary colleges at national universities to acquire a quality set of pet imaging data.

The company said it plans to expand the area of diagnoses to the dog’s stomach and the cat’s chest and stomach with a goal of commercializing them next year. SK Telecom will push for a global launch of X Caliber in the future, according to its chief development officer Ha Min-yong.

“The attractive markets we are looking at are the United States, Japan and Australia where there is big spending power and a high level of acceptance and understanding (for pet care). But the goal at the moment is to get settled in the domestic market first,” said Ha.

X Caliber will be provided at no cost for the first month followed by a 300,000 won ($211) monthly subscription fee, according to SK Telecom. The service will be only available for certified veterinarians.

An exemplary image of how X Caliber can be used at animal hospitals (SK Telecom)