Evaluation of Remote digital autopsy

Last changed: 24 October 2017

The main objective of the project is to evaluate a simplified field post mortem method (called Remote digital autopsy) to investigate if this method can be used to determine cause of death in Swedish cattle.

Remote digital autopsy is a simplified gross autopsy that occurs on farm. The technique is developed in Canada and allows trained technicians to open the abdominal cavity and take photos of certain key organs. These images are uploaded to a database managed by Feedlot Health and Management Services in Canada. Based on the digital images and anamnesis (if available) the remote team in Canada presents a presumptive diagnosis.

We hope that this pilot study will result in a higher proportion of Swedish cattle with a valid cause of death. At present, the reports on the cause of death are based on the farmer's opinion. With Remote Digital Autopsy, trained staff will be able to provide a more correct diagnosis and rapid feedback to the farmer.

This study will evaluate if Remote digital autopsy is a suitable technique for determining cause of death in cattle under Swedish production conditions. The evaluation will demonstrate the validity of the method, practical implementation (time, difficulty, etc.), and how the results are affected if the pictures are taken directly on the farm compared with after transport to the destruction plant/autopsy site. We will also get insight in ​the causes of death among Swedish cattle (both dairy and beef) in different ages.



Projekttid: 2017-06-01 - 2017-12-31

Financiär: The Swedish Board of Agriculture


The National Veterinary Institute

Gård & djurhälsan


District veterinarians


Karin Alvåsen
Researcher at the Department of Clinical Sciences; Veterinary Epidemiology Unit

Telephone: 018-671323, 070-5413227
E-mail: karin.alvasen@slu.se