Innovation gains third Queen’s Award for Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging
Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging has again been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this time in the Innovation category for its 1.5T high-field MRI scanner, developed specifically for the small animal veterinary market. Hallmarq has combined unique, customer-led technical design with an innovative business model. This makes its technology accessible to a wider market and provides a feasible option for veterinary practices seeking to offer more advanced diagnostics to benefit pets. Previously, Hallmarq’s unique Standing Equine MRI system was recognised with two Queen’s Awards in 2015, one for Innovation and one for International Trade.
Hallmarq is one of only 48 companies to win an award in the Innovation category, acknowledging strong efforts in technology. The decision to confer an Innovation award is made according to a wide range of metrics including invention, after-sales support and proven commercial success for a minimum of two years. For Hallmarq, these qualities are evidenced in its drive to improve accessibility to advanced veterinary technology, which is at the core of the company ethos.
This focus ultimately benefits pet health and welfare by increasing in-house diagnostics to help achieve more targeted treatments and improved outcomes. High-field technology is widely used in referral centres and an increasing number of first opinion practices, reducing the need to travel long distances and creating an extension of services offered by first opinion vets.
Hallmarq’s small animal MRI is the only 1.5T high-field scanner in the veterinary market that has been designed specifically for veterinary use, with other options being older, adapted human systems. Steve Roberts, PhD, Hallmarq’s Chief Technical Officer, expands on the decision-making behind the design, “Imaging pets across a range of sizes and breeds presents unique problems, and we have collaborated with our customers to identify these to deliver unique solutions through our technology. We know that image quality is important to vets, but so is reliability and ease of use.”
The design includes a unique V-shaped bed and spine coil to aid spinal alignment and patient positioning. This innovation has the added benefit of improving image quality compared with a flat surface, typical in human machines. The scanner also has an in-built radiofrequency shield, removing the need to incorporate these features into the design of the room itself. This increases the options available to practices for housing one of the MRI scanners, thereby reducing one of the key barriers to some practices. Other key features include the specially designed imaging software, flexible, open-top coil design for different patient sizes, and a comprehensive lifecycle customer support package, ‘Q-Care’.
Simon Platt, BVM&S, DipECVN, DipACVIM, (Neurology) FRCVS, Small Animal Medical Director at Hallmarq explains the importance of making MRI more accessible, “MRI is considered the gold-standard diagnostic tool for a range of conditions but has previously felt out of reach for many practices. Our team aims to break down these barriers by offering cutting-edge equipment, along with financial flexibility and long-term training and support, to help vets on the front-line benefit from greater diagnostic capabilities and deliver more targeted treatments to their patients.”
Hallmarq CEO Jos Belgrave, BVSc, CertEP, MRCVS, believes that innovative technology continues to be a healthy investment and is boosted by initiatives such as the Queen’s Awards, stating, “Hallmarq’s third Queen’s Award, along with incremental sales growth, demonstrates the commercial value of our continued investment in innovation, a strategy which has been strongly supported in recent years by August Equity. As forward-thinking market leaders, we continue to collaborate with our global customers, and already have another new innovative product in the market.”
Veterinary practices interested in joining a focus group to help drive further innovation in advanced veterinary imaging can get in touch here: https://hallmarq.net/contact-us/
For further information about Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging, visit https://hallmarq.net/.