As an educational publisher and interactive new media developer, LifeLearn’s mission is to bring learning to life through the development of leading-edge educational resources for life science professionals, ultimately improving the health and welfare of human and animal patients globally. The company merges science, design, and technology to create engaging, effective, and easy-to-use educational programs across various medical segments.
Founded in 1993, LifeLearn evolved from the Veterinary Continuing Education Program of the Ontario Veterinary College. Located in Guelph, Ont., with the University of Guelph as a significant shareholder, LifeLearn publishes original educational and communications products, both proprietary and on contract for third parties in electronic and interactive multimedia formats.
LifeLearn President Mark Stephenson told The Canadian Business Journal, “LifeLearn was created because of the demand for continuing education for veterinarians in Ontario, and the original mission was to provide continuing education to veterinarians globally using technology.
As technology changed rapidly over the years, our business model evolved, but continuing education, educational publishing and interactive media development are still the core competencies and focus areas of our business. There are two distinct segments to our operations today, firstly our veterinary education, veterinary practice website design and pet owner education services and secondly our contract business that provides custom e-learning and integrated marketing solutions for major health and pharmaceutical companies.”
“We provide online marketing services for veterinarians by developing and maintaining websites and pet owner educational content for individual veterinary practices. Our WebDVM® websites come preloaded with a large amount of educational content so veterinarians can quickly and easily set up an online presence where they can be seen as the first stop on the Internet for their pet-owning clients. These sites can be easily customized to any practice, are SEO optimized, include social media integration and have proactive communications options built in. In other words, they are sophisticated sites a small business owner like veterinarians would not have the ability to establish on their own. We have close to 2,000 veterinary customers in Canada and the U.S. who use our Client Communications subscription services.
“We also have an e-learning portal with some 35 different e-learning courses for both veterinarians and healthcare teams. The course topics range from veterinary medical education to practice marketing and communications, and help practices to train their team with modern interactive programs that are fun, convenient, effective, and affordable.”
Custom Contract Segment
This contract development segment of LifeLearn’s business, which leverages its core competency of interactive new media production, represents about 50 per cent of the company’s revenues by providing major health and pharmaceutical companies with e-learning and integrated marketing solutions.
In this segment, the company is transitioning to serve not only the animal health industry, but also various medical verticals such as dentistry and others.
“Thanks to our 18 years of experience we are experts in taking complex medical and scientific content and bringing it to life to create memorable educational experiences that increase knowledge, develop skills, and ultimately change learners’ behaviour. We can take a project from A to Z and not require a lot of our clients’ resources because we understand the content. Our project managers have master’s degrees in Biomedical Communications (MScBMC), a unique educational background that combines medical science courses with visual communication courses. This talented team can analyze static content from content experts, and develop technically sound, highly interactive programs for many platforms that deliver on the stated objectives. We use a number of gaming strategies, simulations and experiential learning techniques to ensure a memorable experience. The result is a program that engages the learner and ensures retention of information, precisely what our clients want to achieve with their marketing activities.”
The company’s goal is to use its core competencies in interactive multimedia design and development to increase its reach into other life sciences verticals.
The company has already entered into dentistry and continues to seek opportunities in other human medical fields, such as general medicine, long-term healthcare, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and other ancillary medical professions with similar educational needs. An exciting and interesting application of LifeLearn’s expertise is through the work it is doing in partnership with Veterinarians Without Borders. The two groups are working in collaboration to produce a pilot program to help train community animal health workers in developing countries using smartphone technology. Although this is still within animal health, it represents a lateral move into a whole new and fast growing space that will help LifeLearn with its mission of improving the health and welfare of human and animal patients globally.
Consumer Pet Owner Segment
LifeLearn recently launched an educational portal and mobile app (iPhone and iPad) for pet owners. “MyPetED® [www.MyPetED.com] gives pet owners quick access to pet care information, and other pet-related services such as Adopt-a-Pet and Lost & Found in one spot, while all the time supporting the veterinary profession and encouraging veterinary visits through education and a Find-a-Vet search feature.”
LifeLearn recently received three Communicator Awards for programs produced for Bayer, Nestle Purina and Novartis. Founded nearly two decades ago, and receiving over 6,000 entries each year, Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications.
With expansion of its applications into new medical verticals, LifeLearn continues to fulfil its promise to Bring Learning to Life.