4Dx Lung Technology’s Equine Application Featured

From The Sydney Morning Herald DECEMBER 31 2017:

4Dx’s dimensional imaging technology largely focuses on early detection and monitoring of lung diseases in humans, such as cystic fibrosis.

Now, 4Dx is keen to adapt the technology to racehorses and has engaged leading Australian equine veterinary surgeon Glenn Robertson-Smith to explore its application.

4Dx and Dr Robertson-Smith have been in discussions with Cranbourne Racing Club chief executive Neil Bainbridge and are looking to establish the world’s first equine prototype 4Dx machine at the club’s training centre.

Dr Robertson-Smith said there are many potential applications of the technology to horses. “Horses suffer from a vast number of lung diseases and evaluating them or the response to treatment has been extremely difficult in the past,” he said. “If we were able to understand the disease, how or when it occurs and how it responds to treatment or training, then we could manage affected horses much better,” Robertson-Smith said.

The 4Dx technology could determine changes to the lungs within hours. “In contrast, existing methods of assessment, including CT scans, X-rays and ultrasound, could not see any lung changes within at least a week and in some cases 14 days,” he said.

A significant application of 4Dx would be in predicting performance, Dr Robertson-Smith said. Horses are rare in that at maximum performance they use all of their lung capacity. This means that horses with an innate or genetically-determined better lung function would be more successful racehorses.

The 4Dx technology would offer a predictor of lung capacity and function, and as such would have huge potential if it could be applied to yearling racehorse purchases.