“At Their Fingertips”

By Margaret Magner (Special to The Guardian)

Published on March 8, 2014

Dr. Etienne Côté says distance isn’t a factor nowadays when it comes to connecting with others in the business world. “If you have an inventive idea and a talented team, you can create things here that make their way around the world,” he says. Côté is one of the people behind the Timeless Vet Drug Index, which veterinarians can be accessed by a mobile app.


When Montreal-born Dr. Etienne Côté arrived at the Atlantic Veterinary College following successful veterinary practices in Boston and Los Angeles, he fully expected to remain there for just one year.

Eleven years later, Côté, a double-board-certified veterinary cardiologist and small-animal internist, and author of a widely used clinical veterinary textbook, is an award-winning associate professor in the Department of Companion Animals.

Collaborating with his former mentors, world-renowned veterinarian and author Stephen Ettinger and Wayne Schwark, emeritus professor of pharmacology at Cornell University, Côté is a primary force behind the Timeless Vet Drug Index created by Timeless Veterinary Systems Inc. of Charlottetown.

With a $1.4 million R&D loan through the ACOA Atlantic Innovation Fund and 10 employees, Timeless has developed a novel software product to assist veterinarians with daily diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic decisions. It has emerged as a key player in a field it’s actually inventing — software development dedicated to empowering veterinary professionals with innovative point-of-care medical technologies.

With the recent release of the Timeless Vet Drug Index mobile application on both the Apple and Android platforms, the company is poised for international success.

The creation of the app emanated from a desire to give busy practicing vets a convenient quality drug-information resource and the realization that veterinarians are underserved in the mobile app world.

In practical terms for the much-loved pet, this means that rather than taking valuable time away from caring for a sore paw to consult a textbook, a veterinarian can simply open a tablet computer or smartphone, log into the Timeless app, and access extensive medical information that’s evidence-based and constantly updated in real time.

The Timeless software engineers working on the project — many of them Islanders recruited home to develop this industry-leading technology in P.E.I. — draw on best practices from apps people utilize daily to create a level of convenience inaccessible from a drug formulary alone.

Which isn’t to say the textbooks in a veterinarian’s library wouldn’t also be helpful. In fact, they were probably written by Côté or Ettinger, authors described by Joey Seaman, Timeless vice president of sales and marketing, as the “Wayne Gretsky and Sydney Crosby of veterinary medicine.”

Having penned two of the most respected veterinary texts, they are internationally recognized leaders in their field.

“We put together a wish list of what we as users would like to have,” says Dr. Côté. “Very few drug formularies indicate what to expect after administering a drug. The evidence base for our index defines exactly what the outcomes were after treatment.”

Timeless president John Rowe says the Timeless mandate is to raise the game in veterinary medicine — an underserved market — with technology tools and world-class innovation.

He is the respected entrepreneur who returned to P.E.I. from Vancouver and the Silicon Valley to launch Timeless, as well as honey-based product innovator Island Abbey Foods, in the province where his family has played a role in Island agriculture and business for six generations.

“There’s a competitive advantage to living and working in P.E.I. that others may not recognize. With our top-tier veterinary college, outstanding research, public/private partnerships, gifted people, and direct access to R&D capital, it’s a hidden gem,” he said.

Like Rowe, Etienne Côté is gratified to be pursuing this innovative work in P.E.I.. with the lifestyle and collaborative environment that ensure it remains home.

“Distance isn’t a factor nowadays when it comes to connecting with others and having an impact,” says Côté. “If you have an inventive idea and a talented team, you can create things here that make their way around the world.”

The proof is in the results. In the few short months since its launch, 90 per cent of vets utilizing the Timeless Index report it saves them time; the app has already been downloaded over 7,000 times in 82 countries; and it’s enjoyed an enthusiastic reception at major veterinary conferences.

That’s enough to put wagging tails on four-legged friends and smiles on the people who look after them.