A team of Japanese developers has created an innovative application called CPD (Cat Pain Detector) that uses artificial intelligence to detect pain in cats through facial expression. This app could become an essential tool for cat owners and veterinarians alike.
Since its launch in May, around 43,000 people, mainly in Japan but also in Europe and South America, have started using this app developed by Tokyo-based Carelogy. The developers started by collecting around 6,000 photos of cats to analyze the positions of the ears, muzzle, whiskers, and eyelids in order to identify variable facial features associated with pain.
Based on this large collection of facial expressions of both pain and healthy cats, the University of Montreal developed a “gesture” scale that serves as the basis for the analysis performed by CPD. In the second phase of development, a model was built based on this data using artificial intelligence.
According to Go Sakioka, director of Carelogy, CPD currently has an accuracy of more than 90%, and this accuracy is expected to improve further as users contribute around 600,000 additional photographs.
In Japan, the cat-related market accounted for approximately $14.4 billion in 2020, including food and veterinary expenses nationwide, the sale of products and accessories, as well as revenue generated by tourism, especially at popular “cat islands” and “neko-cafes,” establishments where feline companionship can be enjoyed.
This application offers the possibility of improving medical care for cats since, according to the Japanese pet food association, only 60% of cat owners consult a veterinarian at most once a year. CPD could be a valuable tool to help owners identify pain in their cats and seek appropriate treatment, which could contribute to the health and well-being of domestic felines.