2001: The story begins
Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging was co-founded by Dr Nick Bolas, ex Oxford graduate and keen horse owner and rider. Working alongside a highly skilled team of specialists, some of whom remain with the company today, Hallmarq pioneered the development of the world’s only MRI scanner for the standing, sedated horse. Key personnel, each with over 20 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of clinical MRI systems, worked to install the world’s first Standing Equine MRI system at Bell Equine, Kent, in January 2002. The rest, as they say, is history…
2003 – 2006: The revolution
With the safety of both horse and handler ensured, interest levels peaked as vets worldwide became increasingly able to see a wide range of previously unknown pathologies. The revolution in lameness diagnostics had begun! Intense R&D development brought improvements to the original scanner and a major upgrade program and rebranding to our EQ2 system followed in 2006. Safe, fast and accurate equine MRI was rapidly becoming the gold standard in lameness diagnosis around the globe.
2008: Sharing knowledge
The power of education
Our first European Clinical User Meeting was held in Chamonix, France in 2008. Industry experts delivered invaluable insights, attendees brainstormed with us and each other, both in the classroom and on the ski slopes; it was an instant success. Chamonix continues to be a key date in our calendar, providing an opportunity for the company to learn from its customers and vice versa. Aware that the value of education and peer to peer learning cannot be underestimated, we continue this today with our EdYoucate Programme, webinars, case studies and other invaluable resources available to our Hallmarq Community.
2012: Branching out
Introducing Small Animal MRI
With standing equine MRI firmly established, and building on years of industry experience, 2012 saw the introduction of the company’s first Small Animal MRI system. This 1.5T high-field machine meant rapid growth in our R&D and Sales teams globally, and the introduction of a new type of customer base. Designed specifically with the small animal’s anatomy in mind, this innovative system was always intended to be a far cry from a refurbished human MRI. With the vet and pet a priority, we designed the machine so that there’s no need for an RF shielded room or helium refills. In addition, the patient bed and top-open coils allow for optimised positioning; keeping operating costs down and reducing staffing expenses.
2013: The Equine Modular Room
Cost-effective MRI ready to go
Our first Equine Modular Room is installed at Veterinair Centrum Someren in the Netherlands. Understanding the limitations that lack of space within a practice can bring, we designed our modular room to be shipped “ready to go.” With no need for upfront capital expenditure, a purpose-built room with RF shield, or the headache of obtaining planning permission, the system is simply dropped onto a concrete hardstanding, plugged into power and the internet and is ready to scan. Since then, the demand for modular rooms continues as practice owners see the value that this unique solution brings to their businesses.
2015: Industry recognition
A hat-trick of awards
One of only two companies in the UK to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in two categories, we were proud to be recognised for innovation and international trade. A visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal provided an opportunity to show just some of what goes on behind the design and manufacture of our MRI systems. In addition, we were awarded the prestigious Institute of Physics Award for our Motion Correction Software; designed to compensate for the slightest movement of a horse’s limb during image acquisition; faster scan times means more cases and lower costs for our customers.
In 2017, Hallmarq was listed as one of the FT1000’s fastest growing companies in Europe and, in the same year, were also Surrey Super Growth (UK) winners.
Collaboration at its best
Continuing to expand their product line, 2017 saw the introduction of CT to the Hallmarq range through a collaboration with Canon (formerly Toshiba Medical). Hallmarq’s specialist expertise and wealth of knowledge, combined with Canon’s state-of-the-art machines, delivers exactly what the veterinary industry expects; accessible and affordable technology for advanced patient care.
2018-2019: Our 100th site
Making our marq
2018 saw refinancing, refocus and relocation with a change to a non-technical Senior Management team and a focus on growing the companion animal market in North America. Our 100th site installation took place at Pferdeklinik Dalchenhof in Switzerland and we passed the 100,000th scan mark. It was quite a year! 2019 saw the UK offices get a long-overdue makeover, providing a bright and airy space in which our growing team can work; long gone are the days where we sat amongst the boxes of component parts in the factory unit!
2020: Standing Equine Leg CT
Hallmarq’s dedicated in-house team launched their new Standing Equine Leg CT in December, to end the most difficult of years on a high. With an exclusive focus on standing imaging, we’ve designed, built and delivered an additional tool for equine vets to fully evaluate and diagnose lameness, fracture and disease in the equine distal limb. This compact, open and safe technology scans the standing sedated horse on a low platform with our novel dual concentric ring design. The detector plate remains close to the region of interest for improved image quality and the system incorporates our exclusive motion correction technology. Total cost of ownership has been carefully thought out to deliver this solution to clinics with a significant sports medicine caseload.
2021 and beyond
What next for Hallmarq?
The journey continues… As Hallmarq approaches its third decade, our commitment to the industry continues to be at the forefront of our decision making. Our Small Animal veterinary MRI system has gone through the process of redesign and rebranding to deliver to the exacting specifications of a growing customer base. In addition, the introduction of Q-Care, our world-class support programme, confirms that commitment and encompasses all that we do to support your business success. We will continue to grow our global team of experts to ensure that we can provide the knowledge, experience and, most of all the passion, to help your imaging service thrive.
Over 250,000 scans
That’s a lot of images by anybody’s standards! To date, our customers have performed over 260,000 scans on horses, cats and dogs around the globe. We can proudly say that we, and they, must be doing something right. The industry’s demand for the perfect image is met by our ability to deliver advanced diagnostic solutions that meet those exacting requirements.
Over 100 sites
With system installations at 124 customer sites worldwide, we continue our collaboration with the veterinary industry to deliver advanced imaging solutions for improved animal health. Our Standing Equine MRI paved the way for veterinary specific imaging solutions for your practice and today, Hallmarq’s small animal MRI solution and unique Standing Equine Leg CT, add to that initial success.
Over 20 countries
Since the installation of the world’s first standing equine MRI system two decades ago in the UK, to the latest small animal MRI system in the US, Hallmarq continues to see global growth with customers located in 24 countries. Get in touch today to see how you and your practice can join those imaging experts already on the map.
Since day one, Hallmarq’s aim has always been to improve animal welfare and this key concept is still at the heart of all we do. A shared pride in our work, never losing our curiosity, and cultivating partnerships around the world are just some of the core values which we believe help drive our decision making. These shared values form the basis of our company culture and help define how we conduct ourselves and our relationships with our stakeholders.
“Hallmarq recognises its responsibility to the environment and is committed to reducing our environmental impact while striving to improve our performance.”
In addition to a passion for animal care, we strive to understand and embrace the challenge of caring for our planet. From shipping carbon neutral, to using recycled consumables and everything in between, we endeavour to minimise the impact of our business on the environment.
We offset the annual CO2 emissions from our global travel and energy usage, to support projects that help combat climate change as well as caring for local communities. We’ve planted hundreds of native broadleaf trees at schools local to our UK offices, participated in beach cleans in a bid to reduce the plastic in our oceans and, latterly, supported reduced deforestation in Brazil through Carbon Footprint’s America’s Project.
The work continues and, led by our passionate and pro-active “Green Group,” the entire company gets behind our mission to be environmentally responsible. It’s in our hands!