Since veterinary laser therapy was first introduced in 2006, it has been one of the fastest growing modalities in the veterinary profession. Class IV lasers have revolutionized wound treatment and pain management, and they are beneficial for nearly 80% of veterinary patients.
However, DVMs who are new to laser therapy often do not know how to adjust the intensity, wavelength, and pulse frequencies to maximize the efficacy of various treatments. A small mistake when adjusting these parameters or administering a treatment could reduce the effectiveness of laser therapy or, in extreme cases, injure the patient.
- Why parameters matter
- Organization of the GUI
- Teaching as you Treat
- Consistency above all else
This is why doctorVet introduced TOBI, an automated technician that will guide you through the process of adjusting the parameters of your Class IV laser, and will help you administer treatments. TOBI is the offspring of sophisticated software and expert clinical collaboration, and he lives in each doctorVet laser.
Why Parameters Matter When Administering Laser Therapy
Each of the tissue-types in the body responds differently when exposed to light of varying intensities, wavelengths, and pulse frequencies. We have come to know that laser therapy is most effective when veterinarians can target multiple tissue-types in a single treatment. In response to this discovery, manufacturers adjusted the software within their Class IV lasers to allow DVMs to administer treatments in multiple phases (subsets of time within a treatment when the output parameters change).
doctorVET’s graphical user interface (GUI) allows the user to enter important factors such as the size, color, and anatomy of the animal and, in some cases, the chronicity and condition name. These details are used to organize a parameter-set that will enable the veterinarian to deliver the most effective treatment possible.
Technology that teaches
Adjusting the parameters of your Class IV laser is just one piece of the treatment puzzle. You also have to use the correct technique when administering the treatment.
Most manufacturers of veterinary laser technology will briefly train you on proper usage when you purchase the device. But each patient is unique, and the specific condition you are treating will determine how you should administer the laser therapy.
In a perfect world, each veterinary laser would come with a technician who would train you until you master the device. Unfortunately, that’s just not practical, which is why the creators of doctorVet collaborated with clinicians and engineers to create TOBI.
TOBI is by far the most effective training tool ever to grace the veterinary laser industry. At the end of every phase of each treatment, TOBI will give you a tidbit of advice that will guide you through the next phase. He will tell you when to treat in-contact vs. non-contact based on whether you are treating a deep-seated injury or an open flesh wound. He will tell you when to increase your scanning speed based on the power settings and color of the animal. He will tell you which types of tissue to target during each phase based on the pulse frequencies in that phase. He will tell you when to follow the lymphatic pathways of the stifle when the goal is to remove metabolic waste from an area in the final stages of treatment.
At the end of treatment, TOBI will tell you and the pet owner what to expect during the animal’s recovery and which are the next steps in the treatment regimen.
Once you’ve mastered the doctorVet laser, you can easily disable TOBI until he’s needed again. When you hire a new nurse, TOBI will be ready to teach him or her how to administer laser therapy safely and effectively.
The primary goals of any treatment modality are efficacy and consistency. Unfortunately there are many factors (some user-dependent, some patient-dependent, some equipment dependent) that prohibit a fully predictable set of clinical outcomes. But the best you can do is ensure that all of your staff are equally knowledgeable, using the same technique, and setting the same expectations. TOBI provides the highest possible level of consistency from treatment-to-treatment on the same patient, patient-to-patient, and tech-to-tech.