Founded in 2000 by Dr Nick Bolas, and working alongside a highly-skilled team, some of whom remain with the company today, Hallmarq pioneered the development of the world’s only MRI scanner for the standing, sedated horse. Key personnel, each with over 20 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of clinical MRI systems, worked to install the first Standing Equine MRI system at Bell Equine, Kent, UK in January 2002.
Most horse owners and riders know only too well that lameness is notoriously difficult to diagnose properly. The usual procedure involves a series of "trial and error" steps using nerve blocks, x-rays and other methods for diagnosis, followed by treatment which is not always effective. Each individual step in this process may be relatively inexpensive, but each time round the “lameness loop” only results in around a 30% chance of getting a clear diagnosis; the total cost soon adds up. During this process, other costs will be incurred, (farrier, livery, etc.,) and there is a risk that the problem may get worse if left untreated.
The imaging method of choice in human medicine for many years, MRI is considered the gold standard for diagnosing orthopaedic pathology. Hallmarq’s standing equine MRI system offers equine vets the same diagnostic capability, providing a unique insight into equine lameness and identifying the specific cause in over 90% of cases.
With their Standing Equine MRI firmly established, Hallmarq more recently developed PetVet, a 1.5T high field MRI system designed with the companion animal in mind. More recently, we have partnered with Canon Medical Systems (formerly Toshiba Medical) to bring CT to the small animal veterinarian in the UK.
The company’s continued focus on delivering exactly what the veterinarian demands, along with meticulous attention to detail, has also resulted in industry recognition. The Institute of Physics awarded us with their highly-coveted Innovation Award for our motion correction software. In addition, dual Queen’s Awards for Enterprise; in Innovation and International Trade recognise our commitment to continued growth.
Almost twenty years later, and with 100 veterinary MRI systems installed in 24 countries worldwide, we continue to deliver advanced imaging solutions for improved animal health.
Report + photos: Hallmarq