The Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Center of Excellence, in partnership with the Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT), a part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, have developed a mobile Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) application to support veterinary practitioners submitting animal health certificate records from the field. The technology was developed as part of the Institute's DHS funded business continuity project, and in close coordination and collaboration with state animal health officials (SAHOs) in Colorado and Kansas. The mobile application was modeled after and builds upon the eCVI PDF form developed by the SAHOs in these states.

The "iCVI" app is currently available for free download from Apple's App Store and provides an easy-to-use, touch-screen interface for digitally entering animal health certificate data. IIAD's iCVI strives to expand the toolbox of capabilities available to veterinary practitioners, allowing them to easily submit electronic animal health certificates, or store that information within the application for forwarding when data connectivity becomes available. This real-time information sharing is an alternative to email or web-based systems, and helps improve communication between veterinarians and state animal health offices by supporting certificate submission from the field.

In addition to providing a mobile interface for CVIs, the end-user has the ability to print paper-based forms directly from the mobile application. Submitted CVIs can also be automatically and/or manually imported into state animal health information systems.

"This new technology will help streamline the work flow for our veterinarians in the field," said Bill Brown, DVM, Kansas animal health commissioner. "We want to make sure that tools are available to improve efficiency, as well as provide connectivity to the animal health network."

The submitted CVIs can also be made available within IIAD's AgConnect suite. AgConnect is a suite of customizable data integration and analysis products designed to enhance real-time animal health situational awareness, enable permissioned data sharing and support decision-making in the event of emerging, zoonotic and/or high consequence diseases. With permissions, state veterinarians will be able to visualize the iCVI data along with other data stored within the AgConnect suite (e.g., additional animal movements, premises, surveillance, diagnostic test results and other emergency response data), allowing for greater situational awareness during a disease event. Real-time data integration of the above mentioned data streams would greatly aid state animal health officials in making decisions on animal and animal product movements during a disease outbreak.

"The iCVI has tremendous potential to provide real-time information on livestock movements and improve the accuracy of that information to animal health officials," said Keith Roehr, DVM, state veterinarian of Colorado. "It will definitely enhance animal disease traceability, which ultimately safeguards animal and human health."

iCVI is currently being piloted in eight states with several additional states looking to start their own pilot programs. During the pilot, IIAD will work closely with SAHOs and practicing veterinarians to refine and optimize this newly developed mobile application as needed. As part of future efforts, IIAD intends to expand iCVI to operate on other mobile platforms.

The app was also recently presented on a call to the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials (NASAHO).

"There has been a significant interest from other state veterinarians in the iCVI project," said Dr. Roehr, who is also a past president of the NASAHO. "This new development may be the 'tipping point' in moving veterinarians forward in using electronic means to issue certificates of veterinary inspection."

To learn more about IIAD, visit the IIAD website.