An average of 24 horses die at U.S. racetracks every week, according to a 2012 New York Times investigation.
In some of these cases, catastrophic injuries suffered by horses—which can also cause serious harm to the jockeys riding them—are freak, unforeseen incidents. But there are also times when the people who train horses and monitor them closely in the days before competitions observe subtle hints that an animal might not be fit to race, says David Ergun. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Asto CT, a Madison, WI-based startup that’s developing a computed tomography (CT) scanning machine designed specifically to peer inside the legs, heads, and necks of horses. Earlier detection of problems could help avoid some of the catastrophic injuries that affect horses and also harm jockeys.
“Sometimes [racehorses] will exhibit a little bit of lameness, where they’re favoring a leg,” Ergun says. “Lameness is a condition that a lot of horses exhibit and it’s very difficult to diagnose without being able to image them. It’s just hard to tell.” Read the full story here.