F-Scan for Animal Equipment Research? You Better Believe It

Did you think the F-Scan™ system was just for measuring in-shoe pressure? Well, you're in for a surprise. 

Occasionally, one of our users or partners will share a new way they are using their F-Scan system in ways we never considered – even with animals! Here are two recent examples from research groups with the Writtle University College in Chelmsford, UK:

Figure 1: A paper-thin, trimmable F-Scan sensor proved to be a great method to measure pressure distribution of an equine noseband. Image provided courtesy of Biosense Medical Ltd.Figure 1: A paper-thin, trimmable F-Scan sensor proved to be a great method to measure pressure distribution of an equine noseband. Image provided courtesy of Biosense Medical Ltd.F-Scan to Measure Equine Tack and Nose Bands (1)

Clear data on pressure distribution is always a challenge when designing equipment for animals. Not only do animals lack the ability to communicate comfort and fit, but it can also be difficult to assess possible harm to the animal that can occur over time.

Because horses commonly wear tack and nosebands while riding, these researchers found a creative way to use F-Scan as a means to measure pressure distribution at three different settings, and pressure exchanges during back and hindlimb kinematics. As shown in Figure 1, the researchers trimmed the F-Scan sensor to fit across the surface area of the equine equipment.

The researchers suggested that tight nosebands can cause excessive pressure on the horse’s face, and can negatively influence their gait.

Read the research summary here.

F-Scan to Measure Dog Collar Pressure (2)

In this study, eight dogs wore three collars of equal size but made of different material. Much like the equine noseband study, an F-Scan sensor was trimmed to fit ventrally between the collar and neck of the dog. With a leash attached to the collar, each dog was led through a course requiring the dog to walk straight, clockwise, and counterclockwise, while the VersaTek™ wireless unit captured exchanges in real-time.

The results showed no statistical significance to the type of collar material and direction regarding contact pressure. However, there was a significant difference between the direction of movement and force under each collar, with counterclockwise (away from the handler) showing the highest force.

Access the full research text here.

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References:

(1): Ferro de Godoy, R., Hopkins, E. “Noseband Tightness Affects Equine Biomechanics” (2019) Writtle University College, Chelmsford, UK

(2): Hunter, A., Blake, S., Ferro de Godoy, R. “Pressure and Force on Canine Neck when Exercised Using a Collar and Leash” Veterinary and Animal Science (2019) vol 8. 1-7