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ThermoEye an innovative system for pigs' fever early detection

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ThermoEye (ThermoEye an innovative system for pigs' fever early detection)

Période du rapport: 2019-01-01 au 2019-06-30

"In the recent years, the use of antibiotics related to the intensive animal farming have had a dramatic direct and indirect impact on human health and environment. The direct effects like meat contamination by toxins are less visible than the indirect pollution caused by frequent mis- and over-use of antibiotics which develops the antibiotic microbial resistance (AMR). Aware of the antibiotic resistance issue, the EEC has decided to ban the routine use of preventive antibiotics since 2022.
In many cases farmers are using antibiotics to protect the herds and to improve the efficiency of breeding. For bigger animals like cattle there are many IoT solutions which help to monitor the well-being of a single animal and then in case of illness to treat it individually. The earrings or smart belts/holders based solution are quite expensive but since the cost of animal is high it is efficient to use them. The pig farming and breeding is different. The cost of single pig is more than 5-10 times lower than a single cow and is around 150 euro. Direct transfer of technology used in cattle has no economic justification because the earring based solution cost around 100 euro per piece. As a Smart Soft Solutions we are developing a ""smart breeding"" system for small and medium animals like pigs which will be able to monitor the well-being status of single hog or sow.
There are over 760 million pigs in the world, and the production efficiency is affected by various diseases, such as African Swine Fever (ASF), which reduce it. On the other hand, the amount of antibiotics used in pigs breeding is very high, and some of the manure goes almost directly or directly to the environment, and is responsible for the AMR effect. Introducing Smart Breeding for pig production is a key problem we address. Thanks to our ThermoEye system solution, we can monitor the temperature of a single animal, compare it with other measurements and models developed by breeders and veterinarians, and at the end immediately inform pig farmers about stress accidents and illnesses. Data is collected for further processing, which will help farmers to improve the production cycle, reduce animal stress and, finally, alleviate animal's hard breeding life. In addition, the ThermoEye system solves the problem of missing employees, which are difficult to attract to the pig industry.
The reduction of AMR problem and the provision of healthy pork meat with the unchanged price are the most important problems we are solving for general society. Moreover we support automation in pig farming and we increase the well-being of animals. We are willing to provide fresh mass food at the same quality as it used to be in the pre-antibiotic era.
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"The idea of the project has been developed since 2017. During the last two quarters, we conducted an in-depth feasibility study for our ThermoEye system. Thanks to close cooperation with breeders, we have understood better their needs, which allowed us to introduce different types of products better adapted to their requirements. We are developing Smart Breeding idea for pig industry. We have developed a system based on artificial intelligence, which detects the temperature anomaly in the herd, and in case of such a situation a suspect animal is marked and the owner is immediately informed together with veterinarian or other responsible person about the incident. The ThermoEye system is remote, distributed system and monitors the entire herd without human supervision. We designed solutions adapted for common feeders (ThermoEye 1000 and 1500), housing of breeding sows (ThermoEye 2000), individual feeders (ThermoEye 3000) and weight system (ThermoEye 4000). So far we have collected over 300M records. Moreover, we have prepared several initiatives to promote usage of ThermoEye system among pig breeders like contests with additional free months of operation as a prize, which are advertised in pigs industry websites and newspapers/journals; direct presentation of our system conducted by industry leaders at fairs and exhibitions. We have also created a group of pig producers who are willing to test ThermoEye system and we have prepared a proposal for structural fund to support modification of their infrastructure.
We have been recognized by Deloitte Poland as one of key players in Smart Lab Precise Agriculture in Poland and our SME was invited to consultations on the agricultural market. Moreover the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development prepared the report entitled ""Smart Panel - research and analysis for the needs of entrepreneurial discovery"" where our company and solution is mentioned.
We have signed a distribution agreement with Wesstron pigs’ infrastructure manufacturer and our product might be found in its folders. We are looking for other distributors and partners who are interested to support our approach.
In February 2018 we submitted the patent to Polish Patent Office and in Feb 2019 we started the PCT procedure to protect our solution. Till now we have executed many different tests and installation on 4 different farms so nowadays we permanently monitor well-being of more than 2000 animals. We are cooperating with Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland and Lodz University of Technology, Poland. We actively take part in EIT Food initiatives."
We are using self-developed IR based system to monitor well-being of single animal in the pig herd. Nowadays the majority of veterinarians use either digital thermometers or handheld PIR sensors. The usage of IR thermography has been proven in many research but the cost of single camera was too high and the COTS systems were too fragile to be applied in pig farms. Manual operation requires extra labour costs. The wearable IoT temperature sensors used for cows are too expensive for pig case. Two years ago we started ThermoEye system development which provides the precision of direct 'per rectum' monitoring with low cost of final solution. We have designed our own IR cameras which can work reliable in hard farm environment. Depending on the needs we can monitor from a single sow up to 500 animals using a single device. Finally, we have built the cloud based system which allows to manage easily big herds and delegate the task to responsible employees. Since the system is online, the information about anomalies in animals' temperature is spread immediately so we can react, i.e. separate and treat animals individually. Thanks to ThermoEye solution we can reduce the ratio of falls, increase food conversion ratio, shorten the production cycle, reduce the risk of illness spreading in herd, reduce the amount of medicines used in fattening, reduce the AMR problem, monitor and thus increase the well-being of pigs by adjusting the fattening process, increase the overall efficiency and finally maintain the pork price at unchanged level.
We believe that our system can be used widely in farms not only in Europe but also in other countries. We hope that by the end of 2025 we will be able to monitor over a few millions pigs and we reduce the AMR problem caused by the pig waste by at least 20% but for these step we need a partners and investors who will help us to go to global markets. In the feasibility study in The SME Instruments phase 1 it was proved that our system can work in real environment in pig farms and the extra profits for farmers with production risk reduction were provided.
ThermoEye 2000 in action - sow temperature monitoring
ThermoEye 4000 attached to weigh cage
ThermoEye 4000
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