"Similar tools were already in existence for other crops. But without the same research and data being available for cannabis, we found it necessary to make that step and help cannabis growers as well," says Kieran Oliver-Giasson, Co-Founder of GrowDoc. That's the motivation behind the development of the AI-based mobile app that helps growers diagnose their unhealthy cannabis plants. "By simply scanning the plant with your phone, the app will identify the issue and suggest how to solve it."
How does it work?
In the GrowDoc app, after scanning their plant, growers are directed to a page containing a full description of their issue, along with pictures, videos, and a few different solutions. "As different deficiencies or diseases can sometimes look very similar. You can flip through dozens of pictures to confirm that the diagnosis is correct. We try to mostly offer organic solutions, as that is in high demand among growers."
Kieran explains that because of the long illegality of cannabis, the lack of research has made it extremely difficult to correctly identify any plant issues. "There have not been many clear visuals of what a certain issue looks like on the plant, for example. Therefore, we have partnered with different research institutes and universities across Canada and the U.S., such as Colorado State University. We have commissioned them to start doing research on different nutrient deficiencies, viruses, and pests. Now, we can have clear, concrete evidence and visuals of what these issues look like." GrowDoc uses those images to build its AI so that the app can offer accurate responses. Moreover, the app user is able to see the images during their diagnosing process.
Helping more and more growers
According to Kieran, the app has over 29,000 downloads following a recent increase in use. "In June, we released an updated version with a new look and improved accuracy. We continue to use our users' feedback to improve the app, and a large amount of positive responses has been really motivational for us." At the moment, the app is mostly used by smaller growers, but the company is beginning to work with larger LPs to see how they could integrate the app into their businesses. "Of course, there are sensors and cameras out there that can identify some plant issues. However, such equipment can be very expensive and is often stationary. GrowDoc is a free app that anyone can use to scan any angle of the plant."
The company also releases visual graphics and guides on its social media. By showing leaves with signs of different deficiencies, the company aims to spread its knowledge further, helping growers everywhere. "Even if you are not using our app, we hope growers come across the charts online and use it to their advantage."
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