The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has acquired technology that promises to revolutionize understanding of equine anatomy.

Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center is teaming up with Four Dimensional Digital Imaging (4DDI) to “pioneer a first-ever, robotics-controlled imaging system for use in the standing and moving horse,” according to the New Bolton Center.

Penn Vet is the first veterinary hospital in the world to own the technology, which is called Equimagine. The four-robot system can capture images of the equine anatomy while load-bearing and while moving on a treadmill.

“This will revolutionize equine imaging,” says Dr. Barbara Dallad Shaer, medical director of New Bolton Center, the large-animal hospital of Penn Vet. “The open structure of the scanner will allow us to capture high-quality computed tomography (CT) images of the standing horse that we have had difficulty imaging before.”

The equipment will be installed in New Bolton Center’s high-speed treadmill building in December.

The system allows for new areas of assessment in the performance animal that never before has been encountered, says Michael Silver, chief operating officer of 4DDI, which is based in New York City.

“The best analogy to illustrate the difference between Equimagine and current imaging technology is to envision the deep, inaccessible parts of the ocean that we know are there but have not before explored,” he says. “Our system will open up these uncharted regions.”