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Issue: 72 - Dec 15, 2014
Five Hot Trends for 2015
By: Heather Lewis
Animal Arts

At Animal Arts, we are excited to see a new optimism in the veterinary market.  Many practices forced to put projects on hold during the recession are now planning and building, and the industry is scrambling to stay ahead of this rapid growth.  Growth encourages innovation, and for the first time in years we are seeing many new products and technologies in veterinary medicine.  

In this month's post, let's explore the diversity of these new ideas with Five Hot Trends for 2015:

1.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging technologies.  It used to be that offering magnetic resonance imaging was an unattainable goal for the vast majority of practices.  However, with the diversification of products, more practices are able to pull off the installation of MRI machines.  Clients want the same diagnostic imaging for their pets as for their human family members, so it is reasonable to assume that there will be continued pressure for MRI to become mainstream.

High-field MRI remains solely in the realm of universities and a few select private and corporate hospital practices, but open MRI and mobile MRI trailers offer more affordable options for the purchase and installation of this equipment.  New veterinary MRI machines have been developed in Europe, where limited space and higher construction costs have fostered the design of fully self-shielded units. It is only a matter of time before these machines become popular in the United States and Canada.    We predict that 2015 will be an exciting year for innovation in MRI technology!

2.  LED medical lighting.  On a much more practical level, LED medical lighting technology has exploded, and it is an option of which every new practice can take advantage.  Gone are the days of sweating under hot surgical lights.  These new lights are cool, crisp, precise, and as affordable as the burn-your-hair-off halogens.

3.  Wet/dry cleaning systems.  As veterinary architects, it is difficult to see construction costs skyrocket as the market has recovered.  In some regions, plumbing bids have increased by 30-40 percent over last year due to a shortage of skilled labor.  Construction cost factors as well as improvements to disinfectants will encourage veterinary practices to consider eliminating floor drains and purchasing wet/dry cleaning systems.  One such system that has garnered attention in the animal sheltering market is the Anivac, which is compatible with the use of accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant.

4.  Innovation in animal housing.  The coming year will bring tremendous growth in new products that improve the way in which we house animals.  From quiet hinges and latches that eliminate unnecessary noise to cages that provide enrichment, tomorrow's products promise to focus far more on the specific needs and wellbeing of dogs and cats.

An animal-centric approach changes everything.  Innovation in animal housing is just one example of the larger movement to provide care that caters to the specific needs and unique perspectives of animals.

5.  Porcelain tile goes high tech.  Thanks to vast improvements in the way porcelain tiles are manufactured, you will have more options than ever for tiling your hospital floors.  Large format rectified tiles allow for a lot of tile and not much grout.  Grouts have improved as well, and can be specified to be entirely impervious to staining.  

Our clients love the newer wood plank porcelain tiles that allow for a warm, residential look with the durability of a porcelain finish.  And, tile still comes out the clear winner when it comes to durability and resistance to failure.  

Looking ahead to 2015

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.  We know that there are many more trends and technologies that will define our current times and will continue to develop over the next year.  At Animal Arts, we look forward to sharing in the creativity this growth and prosperity brings.  Have fun, do something different, and find better ways to do things large and small in the year to come.   

It’s going to be a great year!