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Boehringer Ingelheim to use SoundTalks stake to monitor respiratory health of pigs

Boehringer Ingelheim plans pilot program using SoundTalks system in select pig barns to quickly detect possible respiratory distress in swine.

Boehringer Ingelheim announced that it has acquired a minority stake in SoundTalks NV, a Belgian company that has developed a digital monitoring tool that seeks to improve the health care of pigs and helps farmers operate more efficiently.

“We are proud to partner with SoundTalks NV to offer an innovative solution to pork producers,” said Rolf-Dieter Günther, head of diagnostics and monitoring for the Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Business Unit. “Technological innovation is transforming the animal health industry, and we are committed to developing solutions that help veterinarians and, ultimately, farmers, as well as pet owners.”

The SoundTalks system revolves around a digital microphone that records pigs coughing. It relies on an algorithm to differentiate coughing from other sounds in a pig barn and, thus, detects increased coughing that could signal respiratory distress, the companies explained. The system lets farmers and veterinarians intervene more quickly to obtain samples and get a diagnosis.

Boehringer Ingelheim plans to install the SoundTalks system in select pig barns in the U.S. and other major swine markets this spring in a pilot program, the announcement said.

“We are very pleased with this partnership. Our two companies share passion for innovative solutions, technology and animal health. This is just a beginning of a very exciting collaboration,” SoundTalks chief executive officer Dries Berckmans said.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Boehringer Ingelheim has been familyowned since it was established in 1885 and is among the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Boehringer Ingelheim had net sales of nearly 18.1 billion euros in 2017 and is the second-largest animal health business in the world. It is committed to enhancing animal well-being through a large portfolio of advanced, preventive health care products and services. With around 10,000 employees worldwide, the business is present in more than 150 markets.

SoundTalks is a Belgian technology-driven spin-off company that originated from the KU Leuven and the University of Milan (Italy) in 2011. SoundTalks is committed to improving the health and welfare of livestock animals and efficiency in the livestock production chain by delivering innovative automated monitoring solutions to the global market.

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