When Delta Systems was approached by Dr. Kevin Keegan, Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, he had 18 years of research, an algorithm, and a partner in Japan working on wireless sensors – all of which were being used to detect lameness in horses.
Dr. Keegan had a problem and a solution. But the solution ran too slowly and was too cumbersome for an average person to perform. Equinosis was starting to take shape, but some technical help was needed to make it into a viable product.
The Technical Problem and Solution
The challenges included
- boosting a slow analysis cycle
- organizing and displaying data for multiple horses and runs
- reporting this highly detailed data in a clear and accurate manner
4 minutes reduced to 0.4 seconds = Real-Time Results
The algorithm is wicked complicated and when it showed up on our doorstep was taking almost 4 minutes to analyze the data from a single run of a horse. Additionally, the data collected by the sensors had to be perfect – no odd spikes or lulls. Delta went to work on speeding up the analysis and quickly improved the results. Now the time it took the system to digest the same amount of information had dropped from 4 minutes to 0.4 seconds. Real-time reporting and analysis was now possible! Data could now be sent via bluetooth from sensors on the running horse to a nearby tablet computer doing capture and analysis right in the field. This data needed to be analyzed in the field while the horse was still there so the doctor could do blocking and other stuff that vets do.
EXE on a Tablet Computer, Saves Data, Runs Reports
Delta Systems then worked to create a program to run on tablet computers to collect data wirelessly via bluetooth from the sensors and then manage the data from multiple runs of multiple horses in an intuitive user interface. Ultimately, a report is produced that shows all kinds of useful information that we’d love to share but is proprietary.
Why is Lameness Detection Important?
If you compare cars to horses, both are expensive, develop problems that need repair, are sold new and used at auctions, and both can now be objectively certified; Cars have CarFax and horses have The Lameness Locator. Prior to this solution, a veterinarian had to rely on subjective visual assessment as the only method available for performing lameness diagnosis. Even if the vet could “see” which limb was having issues, there was no quantitative way to measure the degree of the issue or to detect if multiple limbs were affected.
About Lameness Locator
The Lameness Locator by Equinosis objectively detects and quantifies body movement asymmetry in a horse using small, body-mounted inertial sensors and a hand-held tablet PC. Instrumentation of the horse is quick, easy, and completely non-invasive. Data collection is in real time and veterinarians are free to perform their usual lameness evaluation routine without distraction.
Data is analyzed rapidly using a unique set of algorithms developed after 18 years of research on sound and lame horse movement. This unique set of data analysis algorithms helps to determine the affected limb or limbs, the severity of lameness within each limb and the timing of peak lameness pain within the stride cycle of each limb.
Results are then presented to the veterinarian in an intuitive graphical interface that is easy to interpret and report to clients.
Check Out the System we Built
Legal Notes: “CarFax” is a copyright of the CarFax people and is not an endorsement of any product. “It’s like CarFax for horses” is our analogy to be used in helping to communicate to lay people what the product does and not an official slogan for the product.