Veterinarian Sofie Computer

Clinical trials are complete for LifeLearn’s new decision support tool, Sofie, and the findings are overwhelmingly positive. The test group – comprised of more than 50 practicing veterinarians from across North America – were most impressed with Sofie’s ability to instantly respond to their questions, with specific answers from only the most-used and highly respected professional sources.
Mark Stephenson, DVM, is Chief Veterinary Officer at LifeLearn and led the development team and clinical trial for Sofie. He highlights how Sofie is a powerful addition to the LifeLearn ECOsystem.
“Ultimately Sofie is helping veterinary teams educate themselves by accessing some of the best information available, communicate the ideal diagnostic and treatment options to their clients, and optimize their practice by determining the right healthcare solutions faster and more efficiently.”

Sofie gives veterinary teams lightning fast access to the trusted sources they already rely upon

Sofie leverages Watson – an innovative and leading cognitive computing system – as well as other leading-edge technology, to search across its knowledge base of over 40,000 pages from the most current, credible, and trusted veterinary textbooks, as well as published material from key journals and conferences.
“We knew that bringing all this information together in one place would be of great value to veterinarians, but the evidence from our clinical trials proved that this tool provided even more value to practice teams than we expected,” explained Stephenson.

75% of trial participants reported that Sofie saved them time, especially when compared to other traditional information sources.

“Sometimes a veterinarian or veterinary nurse/technician can’t remember where they read something that’s relevant to an urgent medical issue they are dealing with right here and now. This might be in a misplaced journal article, a textbook they left at home, or floating in some other unknown location in the clinic.” With Sofie, necessary information is always accessible on the spot. “Our research showed that Sofie really helps remove this pivotal obstacle to optimal patient care,” said Stephenson.

Users have a high level of confidence in the responses Sofie provides

Within only a short period of use in their practice, the majority of Sofie clinical trial participants described the responses they received using Sofie as ‘Reliable & Knowledgeable’.
Beyond the benefits of good data, Stephenson emphasizes the system’s search speed. This is because behind Sofie’s relatively simple and calming interface lies incredibly complex and intelligent functionality. The information vets rely on isn’t just loaded into Sofie. Stephenson and his team of experienced veterinarians have also trained the system to provide only the most relevant and valued information in search. Understanding what types of questions veterinarians will need to answer, and how the questions will be asked ensures that Sofie always responds with the best and most relevant information.
Stephenson explains, “Unlike an unqualified Google search, which may retrieve hundreds of irrelevant responses, Sofie users immediately see where the answers came from and that they’re from a credible, known source.” This is because search engines like Google and Bing bring back data from millions of sources, the majority of which are not relevant to veterinarians at all.
This same level of vigilance in validating the relevance and usability of the data within Sofie will be applied in future planned updates as well, Stephenson promises.

Sofie saves time in all stages of patient care

At the end of the trial period, 91% of participants reported that Sofie Beta helped them solve a problem.
“We knew Sofie would save the veterinary team valuable time searching for information, but we hadn’t fully anticipated how it would impact all stages of care,” Stephenson said. “Sofie can help the veterinary team research potential solutions right from the first phone call and before the patient is brought in. Then, additional information for diagnosis can be quickly accessed even from the veterinarian’s smartphone when they’re in the examination room. Finally, Sofie’s easy to use interface also provides treatment, prognosis and follow up options, again all from reliable, credible sources.”
He concludes, “Having this all in one place is an incredible benefit and creates enormous efficiency, allowing the veterinarian to focus more fully on patient care and communicating with the pet owner.”
“We’re incredibly pleased with the Sofie Beta test results, Stephenson said. “ We’ll continue to draw on these findings as well as what we learn from our monthly subscribers now that we’ve launched.”
As an all-in monthly subscription, Sofie is competitively priced, with introductory pricing as low as  $39/month for a solo veterinarian practice. “Our pricing strategy reflects our desire to get Sofie into as many types and sizes of practices as possible,” Stephenson said.

Can Sofie help optimize your practice?  Sign up for your free trial now or visit

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