Just-released geolocation technology from MyAnIML can flag and locate sick cattle two to three days ahead of symptoms — protecting the health of the herd and offering a revolutionary new security tool for the beef and dairy supply chain, said serial tech entrepreneur Shekhar Gupta.
The Kansas City startup’s patent-pending technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict a broad range of total health indicators using the industry’s first facial — specifically a cow’s muzzle — recognition library dataset, designed and built by MyAnIML, detailed Gupta, founder and CEO of the agtech company and one of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2022.
MyAnIML’s new Bluetooth-enabled ear tag helps producers quickly find the individual animal in the herd in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, he added.
“We know from advances in human biometrics and deep-learning technology that the face can be a reliable predictor of disease. Using the same concept, we can now “fingerprint” an individual cow’s muzzle to monitor its health and predict a variety of issues days in advance,” said Gupta. “By addressing symptoms early, we can better ensure the health and well-being of the entire herd for a more reliable and efficient food supply chain.”
How it works:
- Strategically mounted cameras take multiple images of cows’ muzzles daily, monitoring for changes.
- Images are analyzed against MyAnIML’s library of health indicators.
- When a sick animal is detected, an alert with its ID is sent to the rancher.
- MyAnIML’s geolocation app’s directional arrows and audio signal leads ranchers directly to that animal.
Commercially available in the U.S. since 2022 with multiple large installations and pilot projects underway in 2023, MyAnIML has attracted international interest and plans rapid scale-up in the coming years.
Click here to read more about MyAnIML’s origins or here to see why it was selected as one of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch.
Together, MyAnIML’s hardware and software stack offer the global beef and dairy industries a more precise method of herd health management when profit margins continue to be razor thin and the cost of meat, dairy and other food products remain high, Gupta said. Based on a comprehensive analysis of cattle lost to diseases, cost of medical treatment and low productivity impacts, MyAnIML estimates the U.S. cattle industry loses approximately $200 billion annually. For example, Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) costs the U.S. feedlot industry up to $900 million annually in treatment costs, and total industry losses are much higher when productivity losses are factored in, according to the American Society of Animal Science.
Earlier treatment means cattle producers can use antibiotics more efficiently, reducing costs and inhibiting the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a rising concern amongst health professionals, Gupta said.
The cattle industry takes up the bulk of the demand for U.S. antibiotics — among humans and animals — using them to treat sick animals and as a preventative measure, he added. A typical 5000-head feedlot spends $250,000 annually on antibiotics just to preemptively treat calves for BRD, Gupta said.
“Antibiotics have been a powerful tool to keep U.S. herds healthy, but by identifying infected animals days earlier in the disease cycle, producers can reduce the risk to the herd by an individual animal. It’s a win-win for producers and consumer health,” he said.
MyAnIML’s Bluetooth ear tag was developed specifically to help large-scale commercial feedlots, stockyards and dairies implement predictive health technology into day-to-day operations.
Unlike other ear tag technology in the market, like RFID tags, Gupta said, MyAnIML’s tag helps pen riders quickly find a specific animal using their mobile device, saving hours of labor and more rapidly removing sick animals from the herd.
“In a large-scale, or even small-scale system, being able to accurately predict a sick cow is a huge benefit. But finding that animal has been like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Nathan Leiker, a northwestern Kansas cow-calf and feedlot operator using the MyAnIML technology since early 2022. “MyAnIML’s Bluetooth ear tags connect the dots between disease prediction and animal identification. Now I just check my phone and it takes me directly to the cow I want.”