CT scanning a horse—as you may already imagine—is remarkably difficult. First, it has to be anesthetized (a feat in itself) and maneuvered into the machine. However, a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and 4DDI recently invented EQUIMAGINE, a set of industrial robotic arms much like those used for automotive manufacturing, that CT scan the horse.
Since the robots can do their work while the patient is standing, the horse need not be anesthetized. In addition to traditional 2D CT images, the scanner can also take fluoroscopic, 3D, and high-speed radiographic scans. The researchers’ eventual goal is to scan running horses on a treadmill for motion analysis and correction, as well as diagnosing stress fractures in horses that are currently quite difficult to find with traditional imaging methods.
Eventually, the researchers plan to use the robotic CT scanner for neurology, internal medicine, and sports medicine. Check out the robotic CT scanner in the video below!