Home 9 Locomotion 9 How can a quantification tool be integrated into veterinary practice?

Having become an almost indispensable tool in human medicine and sports performance, new technologies are now making their appearance in equine health.

Objective assessment of locomotion is gradually becoming a standard procedure in equine clinics worldwide, as it overcomes some of the limitations inherent in subjective gait analysis (Serra Braganca et al. 2018).

But how do you adapt to these changes? What strategy should you adopt to make the most of these new tools?

In this article, find out how quantification tools can be integrated into the vet’s day-to-day work, as well as some ideas for optimising the benefits of this investment, both in the short and long term!

Veterinary activity: how can quantification tools be integrated into daily practice?

Firstly, it is important to remember that the ultimate objective is to provide quality care for horses. The main challenge of new health technologies is to integrate them into the day-to-day work of veterinary surgeons. This must be done harmoniously, taking into account veterinary surgeons’ routines and existing systems. In this first part, we present three ways in which quantification tools can be used.

a) Regular locomotion monitoring: packages

If there is a method of using locomotor quantification tools to highlight, it is the regular monitoring of the athlete horse. This service offers advantages for the owner, rider or trainer and veterinarian. The main objective is the early detection of signals, sometimes weak, precursors of pathology. Line Greve and Sue Dyson (2013) argue that combining conventional assessment techniques with objective measurements will contribute to theoretical knowledge and provide practical recommendations for preventive interventions. Additional features allow monitoring other elements: evaluation of performance progress, locomotor impact of important deadlines, etc. More generally, this offer allows one to have a global view of the locomotion of the horse, at any time, with the ability to compare with historical data. This can be useful, especially to adapt the type of care according to the objectives. In addition, this feature also makes it possible to monitor the therapeutic evolution of pathology, depending on the given treatment, and to measure its effectiveness.

In this sense, two options can be considered:

    • An à la carte package, which allows you to take a prepaid amount of sessions. 
    • A longitudinal locomotor tracking package. Often offered during the sports season, this service is billed monthly, and helps to preserve the physical integrity of the athlete horse by anticipating locomotion degradation using recurring, weekly or bi-weekly monitoring sessions.

b) Investigation of subclinical lameness

Locomotion quantification solutions are a valuable aid in diagnosing fine and complex lameness. By comparing several exams between them, several conditions between them, instantly or a posteriori, the veterinarian will be able to analyze the percentage of asymmetry according to the different surfaces, the different tests (bending test, straight line, circle, for example). Of course, the ability to compare objective data before and after diagnostic anesthesia is a significant element, which makes it possible to support the feeling of the veterinarian and therefore, to optimize the management of the horse, the quality of care provided and the well-being of the animal. 

c) Additional services

A system like EQUISYM can also be used as a one-time service. In this case, the use of the tool will represent an additional line on the invoice. For example, as part of a purchase visit. The quantification tool makes it possible to collect objective data, which brings precision and added value to veterinary expertise. This will allow to establish a report with quantified elements that will also reassure the buyer customer. In addition, the system can be offered as an additional benefit to quantify the stage of rehabilitation, the level of success of a care/ treatment or investigate a counterperformance.

Quantification tools: what benefits for veterinary clinics? 

In the first part, the key factor for success was the adaptation of these innovations to the activity of veterinarians. But, there is a second essential element to the successful integration of these tools: the human factor. Nowadays, it seems essential that clients can feel integrated in the care process, and more importantly, that veterinarians and apprentices understand and adopt these systems, to optimize the development of skills and knowledge.

a) Develop and maintain the skills and know-how of the clinic

In a world where digitalisation affects all sectors, veterinary training is an essential element. Since data is stored and shareable very easily, training employees and apprentices in new technologies and quantification tools is essential. Two main reasons: acquire the knowledge necessary to use these systems, and optimize opportunities, while being aware of their limits. Indeed, it is important to remember that these solutions are designed to support the diagnosis of veterinarians, provide them with help to comfort their feelings, but do not replace their expertise

Technological culture is essential to build tomorrow’s veterinarians, but not enough. For such tools to be fully deployed, they must be fully integrated into the continuing education of veterinarians. With this in mind, EQUISYM now offers a new training support: an e-learning platform allowing a first theoretical and interactive approach.

In addition, it is possible to keep all the filmed exams, with the associated curves and results, diagnosed by the experts of the clinic, which can serve as a support for the young veterinarians of the clinic, who can rely on the data as a reference.

Eventually, clusters dedicated to the training, analysis and interpretation of the data collected could be created, for research and development purposes, in the service of equine health. For example, Ciaron Maher, a well-known Australian coach, has set up a Sports Science unit within his stables, to make the most of the data, and open the field of possibilities in terms of performance and equine health. The collection of data allows access to a real source of knowledge, and their analysis and interpretation, possible without time limit, offers many opportunities in equine research.

b) Offering new services to customers

From a “customer” perspective, the use of new technologies will not only attract but also retain customers. By collecting objective data, simple to interpret, the veterinarian will be able to integrate the owner in the horse care process, which is a differentiating added value. Added to this is the guarantee of confidentiality and data security, which preserves the customer’s trust. This data will be stored and archived, making it possible to have a record of each study, with a complete history of the horse’s results, facilitating the creation of reports over time.

Easy to use, these solutions open up the possibility of new ways of working, such as telemedicine. EQUISYM, by offering the possibility to consult the data synchronized with the video, and remotely (in the event that an assistant makes the recording on site or that the veterinarian leaves the system available to a customer), allows the veterinarian to detect an anomaly upstream, and act in a preventive manner.


A study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research stating that “eHealth is more than just a technology, it is another way of working and thinking and that requires a change of attitude”. The challenge that accompanies these innovations is not technological but cultural! Integrating these tools into health care requires organizational and behavioural changes for both health professionals and clients.

Locomotion measurement systems have long been limited to research laboratories due to financial and practical constraints. Advances in technology and miniaturization of sensors now enable accessible quantification, making these systems more affordable and convenient. This paves the way for routine clinical application. These tools promise an optimization of the quality of care, with the final objective, a refined diagnosis and a significant return on investment, both financially and on the human or equine level. Different options are already possible to include these tools in the daily routine, but it is certain that there are still many possibilities to explore.

We work every day with equine health professionals to best adapt our tools and offers to the reality of the field. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss the different business opportunities with EQUISYM, we will be happy to offer you solutions adapted to your needs.

Keywords: veterinary activity, veterinary practice, locomotion quantification tool, business plan, veterinary services, new technologies, EnvA, CIRALE