Medical Devices and Healthcare IT

Machine learning algorithm helps vets diagnose sick cows

09 March 2020

Researchers from the University of Nottingham found that machine learning could enhance and improve a vet’s ability to accurately diagnose herd mastitis. Mastitis is a costly disease that affects dairy cattle. The disease costs around 170 million pounds per year in the U.K.

The team wanted to create an automated diagnostic support tool that can diagnose the herd level mastitis origin and be an early step in the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board mastitis control plan.

Source: UnsplashSource: Unsplash

The first step in controlling mastitis is identifying where mastitis pathogens originate. Vets have to figure out if the bacteria is coming from the cow’s environment or is it contagiously spread through the milking parlor? This requires time and special veterinary training to answer these questions.

Machine learning algorithms approach diagnostic problems in a similar manner to a student doctor or vet. The algorithm learns from data and applies what it learned to new patients.

Mastitis data from 1,000 herds were gathered over several three-month periods. Machine learning algorithms were used to classify herd mastitis origin and compared the results to expert diagnosis from a specialized vet.

The algorithm had a classification accuracy of 98 percent for environmental versus contagious mastitis. It also achieved 78 percent accuracy in classification of lactation versus dry period environmental mastitis compared to the expert’s diagnosis.

A paper on this research was published in Scientific Reports.



Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Advertisement
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Advertisement
Find Free Electronics Datasheets
Advertisement