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The first holistic & preventive monitoring system of dairy cows’ health

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - rumicon (The first holistic & preventive monitoring system of dairy cows’ health)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2019-12-01 al 2020-04-30

Over the last decades, milk yields per cow have increased significantly. However, these high-performance dairy cows are exposed to frequent illnesses, leading to high mortality rates and low life expectancy (5.4 years instead of 22). The current 20-40% annual forced rejection rate (cows discarded in a herd due to disease or premature death) leads to economic losses to farmers of over €2.1 billion per year only in Germany. New cow health monitoring systems are needed to improve cows’ welfare, prolongate cow lifespan (and hereby reducing economic loses), and sustain high milk yields.
Since the beginning of the project, we used the inputs obtained through our 1G prototype (tested with our pilot clients) to improve our hardware and software features, including improvements of our algorithm, a new design of our user interface, and the measurement of more parameters. These results have been integrated into a 2G prototype, which is currently being tested with our pilot clients. Preliminary results have identified further improvements that need to be undertaken to make our product more effective and to better target the needs of our users (dairy farmers).
Rumicon offers the first livestock health monitoring system that is holistic and predictive. Specifically designed for dairy cows, our bolus sensor is safe and designed to have a long operating life matching the cow’s lifetime. It is inserted in the rumen of heifers, where it measures a range of cow health and reproduction parameters wider than that of any currently available device (rumen motility, body temperature, movement behaviour, drinking behaviour, standing up / laying down patterns). Our patented solution offers a radically innovative approach, delivering the most integrated, descriptive, and predictive diagnoses of cow health. The data is then sent through radio to a cloud-based system, where our Machine Learning algorithms process the information into charts and data about known parameters for farmers, who can access via online. It can also set alarms and notifications that are delivered directly to farm managers and veterinarians when required.

Our solution will contribute to improving the economic performance of dairy farms, enlarging cow lifespan and wellbeing, and will contribute to a more sustainable agriculture. It moreover contributes to the objectives of the EU Green Deal (‘From farm to fork’: a fair, healthy, and environmentally-friendly food system).