Everything you need to know to get you interested after a successful demo of the software at BCVA Congress
The BullApp is currently available in the app stores, and the full system is being used in the field. It is still free of charge during final field testing stages while we gather user feedback.
The novel and bespoke Fertility Evaluation and reporting software system to use when semen testing bulls and rams, comprising a mobile app and secure database with a report generator.
The aspirations of The Veterinary Sperm Reporter and The BullApp are to:
- Facilitate recording of all your bull (and ram) evaluation information, incl. media, as simply and intuitively as possible using The BullApp on a mobile device.
- Facilitate morphology counting, recording and presentation of results with the unique touch screen counter, “The Morphology Dashboard“.
- Generate a customised Certificate (practice details and logo, name, signature) based around the current BCVA format, and enable delivery to the client (and practice admin) in a simple and quick manner.
- Professionally record and store data to include an audit trail.
- Encourage a standardised reporting format to be adopted within the profession.
- Store all of this information in a secure database, providing both you and your client with simple online access to all individual bull evaluation reports via an access portal.
- All your data to be available as a CSV download and suitable for clinical auditing.
- Ultimately to use the platform as the basis for a discussion group and develop a CPD process.
- To use the data collected for anonymous benchmarking, and thus assess standards and consistency between users within the UK and ultimately other countries.
Overview of the System
- While access in the UK is restricted to MRCVS’s, attendance at an approved CPD course is not a requirement to be registered as a user.
- The BullApp can be used on Android and iOS platforms on both mobiles and tablets. Data can be recorded while offline and the device will synch to the VSR database when a Wi-Fi connection becomes available.
VSR database can be used on mobile devices, but it is designed for a larger screen.
- A user can only work on the app using a single device at any one time.
- The vet initially inputs the practice and user details into the VSR databse – including addresses, contact details, logo, URL, qualifications, signatures and equipment etc.
- Individual farm info is inputted – incl. name, address, contact details, tag details, etc. This can be completed within the app itself.
- The vet arrives onsite with the details of previous evaluations available within the app. Animal details are preloaded individually, via a CSV upload or inputted crush-side.
The evaluation is worked through in the usual order. Findings are inputted using sliders, dropdown menus and free text for vet clinical notes and Certificate comments. There are a number of default parameters which you may be prompted to enter before proceeding to the next stage or animal.
- Relevant and/or interesting photos and short videos* can be uploaded at any stage with appropriate tags and freehand comments. Uploaded photos could be used to justify the vet’s opinion if later challenged to demonstrate both good or poor findings. Media might also be used to compare different examinations of the same bull e.g., a motility video clip taken at a previous evaluation. ( *video upload is temporarily unavailable in iOS devices and will be restored as soon the fix is made available)
- Morphology can be scored on farm or back in your practice using the Morpho Dashboard touch screen within the BullApp.
- The front screen has buttons representing the most commonly recorded defects that are visible using a good quality bright light microscope and each tap represents one spermatozoa. It is currently not possible to record multiple defects against a single spermatozoa.
- Behind some buttons are further screens with less common defects.
- Buttons are coloured according to type and classification – uncompensable/ compensable & Normal.
- An alert occurs every 10 taps and again when 100 sperm are recorded, at which point the hidden breakdown totals are displayed as figures. Borderline results (set at 68-72% normal) will prompt the vet to count a further 100 sperm.
- A running total count is visible, although to reduce subjective bias, the differential breakdown will be hidden by default unless the total count is >100.
- The Certificate is checked, comments amended as necessary and the evaluation is confirmed as correct by the vet.
- At this point a customised Certificate (based on the current BCVA format) with an uploaded signature is available.
- The evaluation can be signed off from within the app*, and the Certificate becomes available to the client. Once closed off the certificate cannot be amended within the app.
- The Certificate can be sent to both your client and a practice admin. Alternatively it can directly accessed by the client via a secure portal. A pdf can be downloaded, printed and uploaded into a practice PMS, etc.
- Pactice data can be downloaded as CSV file allowing condensed reports and a full analysis be done.
- Support and a user feedback system within the app will be available although the intention is to make the workflow as intuitive as possible. All constructive suggestions will be considered and built in at a later update – if considered to be both useful and feasible.
- A CPD process will be developed in time where users will be able to “score” cases within the app and be bench marked against other users.
- A User Forum will also be developed where you can seek advice and post interesting cases.
- “The TupApp” – a parallel system is planned for recording ram testing and is to be developed when the bull version is working smoothly. It will be available to existing users as one single package.
Since qualifying far too many years ago I have always worked in mixed practice and then as a livestock vet, becoming interested in bull work in 2008. We currently only test 50 or so bulls per year, so I definitely do not pretend to be an expert although I have slowly built up some experience. During my time on the BCVA Board I also organised several successful “realistic” on farm bull fertility training days locally in Devon.
The idea for The BullApp came from the frustration of mislaying bits of wet dirty paper, filling out numerous repetitive forms, missing deadlines for delivering certificates to farmers, forgetting to put the data into a spreadsheet for auditing, etc – you probably know where I am coming from here!
The idea became an interesting theoretical challenge and then progressed, albeit slowly due to Covid and then post-Brexit certification work taking up too much of my life.
Robert and David at Merlin Vets were invited on board and encouraged me from afar while displaying a great deal of trust and blind faith in the concept! BCVA Congress 2021 was an opportunity to demo a basic working prototype to colleagues and garner feedback, which to my great relief was all extremely positive. The software only managed a single day’s airing at Congress 2022 due to unrelated family issues, but further positive comments were unanimously received.
Spring 2023 saw it actually hit the app stores, a few vets gave it a proper workout and their feedback was incorporated into updates.
Then some more interest and encouraging feedback from abroad was a further incentive to introduce new features and update the original format.
Progress has admittedly been slow due to also working full-time in the practice and having a family life. The finish line always seemed to be just out of reach, but that tiny original stem cell of an idea has now got as far as the cauda epididymis and is raring to go!
The Complete VSR Package
The complete UK/Ireland package of The BullApp, VSR database, secure storage, support; and in time The TupApp, forum and CPD element is priced realistically on an annual practice fee. A fee per each evaluation initiated will be due, and the evaluations are available as an advance purchase in bundles of varying sizes and discounts. The pricing options are available in this website or on request.
There are options to suit individual vets, practices and larger groups, and these are tailored so as to be attractive to both high and low throughput users.
There is neither a practice nor a user setup fee, and practices can register an unlimited number of users.
The app is a free download, allowing anyone to “try before you buy”. Access to the fully intergrated software package will in time require a practice licence.
The complete package can potentially be easily “reskinned” or rebranded and function as a separate system if required. Pricing would be agreed on a case by case basis. Other possibilities include merging the mobile app with existing systems although this has extra long term costs.