"It doesn't eliminate the need for a physical exam," he added, "but what it does eliminate is the need to look at every single cow. You can just focus on the cow that needs attention, where there is an indication of a problem."
RELATED: Cows With Names Make More Milk
To get a workable system, the researchers devised an algorithm that matches a cow's activity level with its potential for having a health problem. Each cow is assigned an index number based on its latest reading from the monitor. An index number in a worrisome range spurs an alert on a computer.
"These tools improve the health and welfare of dairy cows and the labor efficiency and quality of life of dairy producers. It works for both the cows and people," said Giordano.
The Cornell scientists have outlined their findings in a series of articles published in the Journal of Dairy Science.
WATCH VIDEO: Milk: Does It Really Do A Body Good?