Credits: Video produced by University of Pennsylvania University Communications Text: Katherine Unger Baillie; ​Video: Chip Murphy, Photography: Steven Minicola

E​QUIMAGINE™ Equine Diagnostics

Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, in collaboration with Four Dimensional Digital Imaging (4DDI), offers a first-ever, robotics-controlled imaging system for use in the standing and moving horse.

Penn Vet is the first veterinary teaching hospital in the world using the EQUIMAGINE™ system, which has clinical and research applications for both animal and human medicine.

Diagnostic Advantages

The EQUIMAGINE™ system’s robotics-driven design provides an unlimited range of motion and unencumbered access to the horse’s entire anatomy, captur​ing the equine anatomy while the horse is:

  • ​Awake
  • Load-bearing
  • In motion

The robotics-driven technology unites automation with powerful algorithms that can perform multiple modalities, unencumbered by an enclosed gantry or a C-arm, making it possible to scan any part of the horse, including the:

  • Lower neck
  • Back
  • Pelvis
  • Upper leg

The quality and resolution of the real-time images created with the EQUIMAGINE™ system far exceeds existing technology, making imaging more efficient and effective. Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scans take less than a minute, and are much more detailed than previously existing technologies.


Dr. Barbara Dallap Schaer, Medical Director, New Bolton Center
Phone: 610-925-6460
Email: bldallap@vet.upenn.edu

Carole Johnson, Director of Imaging & Clinical Care
Phone: 610-925-6198
Email: caroleJ@vet.upenn.edu

Associated Press released this recent video that describes our new Equimagine Robotic System.

Meet the EQUIMAGINE™ Clinical Team


  • Two-dimensional and three dimensional CT scans
  • Digital radiographic studies, including 360-degree studies
  • Fluoroscopy with a high-speed radiographic camera, capturing up to 16,000 frames per second
  • Tomosynthesis, high-resolution images of focused area of clinical interests

​Clinical Uses

  • Most specialists at New Bolton Center will be able to take advantage of the technology, including but not limited to those in:
    • Surgery, particularly orthopedics
    • Sports medicine
    • Neurology
    • Cardiovascular medicine
    • Internal medicine

​Translational Opportunities

  • Penn Vet researchers and clinicians are in discussions with colleagues at Penn Medicine, Nemours Children’s Health System, and other human medical centers about possible applications of the new imaging system.
    • Ability to compensate for accidental motion opens possibilities to image infants and children while awake
    • Imaging patients in motion could improve evaluations of the back, elbow, shoulder, and knee
    • Possibilities for intraoperative imaging during surgery
    • New opportunities for research

CT Scan of Equine Cervical Spine

Equine Skull, 3D Digital Radiography

About 4DDI

4DDI’s technology was developed over the past decade as a solution to address many of the shortcomings and limitations of conventional imaging technology. Originally intended for human application, 4DDI’s robotic-controlled imaging system has been adopted for animal and industrial applications. Its innovative employment of industrial robots to manipulate the imaging apparatus, coupled with 4DDI’s proprietary software, provides an unlimited scanning geometry capable of producing images of an unprecedented quality and resolution. 

About ABB

ABB, a leading global manufacturer of industrial robots, supplies the robots and many of the control components used in 4DDI systems. Learn more about ABB.

With Thanks

This acquisition was funded in part by a generous gift from the estate of Mimi Thorington.