“Smart boots” help detect early lameness in horses

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The Ekico tendon boot.
The Ekico tendon boot.

A French company has designed a “smart boot” for horses to detect early signs of lameness.

Using sensors, the Ekico tendon boot detects load changes applied on the forelimbs of horses, in order to detect early signs of lameness.

A few strides are enough to get an immediate analysis of the locomotion of the horse on a smartphone or tablet. It takes only a few seconds to check the symmetry of the horse according to multiple parameters.

The Ekico tendon boots have been shown at several veterinary conferences this year, revealing the results of a scientific study on the concept by Professor Jean-Michel Vandeweerd from the University of Namur in Belgium. Another study is being undertaken at the Royal Veterinary College of London, with Thady Voorspuy and Roger Smith investigating the effectiveness of the boot in assessing vertical ground reaction force and forelimb stiffness.

Ekico is based in Normandy and was developed by husband-and-wife team, rider and jumping coach Morgane Gérout-Juban and computer science engineer Stéphane Juban.

Its initial product is designed for use by veterinarians and will be available in 2019.

The Ekico boots are being shown at the London Vet Show in November, and at the congress of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in December.

Ekico tendon boot developers Morgane Gérout-Juban and Stéphane Juban.
Ekico tendon boot developers Morgane Gérout-Juban and Stéphane Juban.

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