Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Punt.
Hi Natalie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I created mPet so pet owners could carry their pet’s medical records on their smartphone and access it anywhere, anytime.
As an emergency veterinarian, I often see pets whose owners do not know their medical history or even the medications they are on. This information is very important when deciding what type of treatments should be given particularly when that treatment is lifesaving. I decided to make mPet, a smartphone app for pet owners to store their pet’s medical records and health information so pet owners can access their pet’s medical records health information at all times.
The idea began in my veterinary internship (some veterinarians do additional training after graduating) when my mentor brought up the idea of a smartphone app to collect information about veterinary oncology patients (dogs and cats being treated for cancer). I thought that the idea of a smartphone app for veterinary medicine was very cool and when I began practicing emergency medicine- I found a distinct need for a smartphone app for pets that organizes and stores pet medical records and health information. The app also sends notifications for when vaccines, flea, and heartworm medications are due. In addition, you can order pet food, treats, and medications from an online pet store and pharmacy that is linked to the app.
I designed the app and the code for the first generation. A team from Kiev, Ukraine added additional features and made it user-friendly. We released it in 2019 and have had a great response with other 10,000 users!! It is available on the App Store and Google Play. You can learn more about mPet, at https://mpethealth.org
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve been surprised at how many people recognize the importance of having their pet medical records and health information easily available particularly if an emergency occurs or when traveling. Yet, they don’t want to take action. Convincing people to download and use the app when the benefits are obvious and potentially lifesaving has taken more work than I anticipated!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a small animal veterinarian and have been practicing emergency medicine since 2018. My career is slightly different from most veterinarians in that I am an independent veterinarian and work for specialty and emergency hospitals when they need a veterinarian. There is a shortage of veterinarians across the US and emergency veterinarians are in high demand- which is great for me because I always have work! I’m licensed in 15 different states and often travel to specialty hospitals across the nation to practice. I love my unique job and being able to help pets while experiencing different major cities across the US has been incredible.
I’m so happy that I recognized the need for emergency veterinarians across the nation and acted upon it so that I could couple my passion for veterinary medicine with my love for traveling. I was one of the first veterinarians to realize a special niche for veterinarians with the flexibility to work in many different states. From the beginning of my career, I have developed programs within the profession to support traveling veterinarians. We are currently working with our national professional organizations to develop a program that makes it easier for veterinarians to obtain multi-state licensure without states compromising their licensing requirements.
So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
I value kindness, respect, and freedom. Intelligence also matters to me. So, often people skim across the surface of life going through the motions and doing what everyone else is doing. It takes an inner charisma to be kind when others are being mean, respect a person’s perspective even when it conflicts yours and recognize when others need freedom to pursue their story.
I place a strong value on intelligence and recognize that it comes in many different forms. Intelligence is the glue that permits kindness, respect, and freedom.
- mPet, smartphone app is 0.99 to download