Would love some feedback on an app idea for improving hoof health - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-24-2014, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question Would love some feedback on an app idea for improving hoof health

I've been working on a new idea for performing a quick check on hoof health and would love some feedback from the community.

At this stage it's just a basic phone application that uses your smartphone camera to capture an image of your horses hoof, we then process this information, and provide you with visual feedback on key hoof parameters.

The idea being that you have an immediate snapshot of your horses hoof health (try saying that 10 times really quickly!), and can then use this information as an indicator of any current or potential up coming problems. We also provide trends over time so that we can alert you when the hoof health is declining.

On the flip side we'd love to provide this as a tool for farriers to be able to achieve a higher quality and more consistent trim. It would also allow the farrier to quickly and easily communicate what they've done on the hoof and why.

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-25-2014, 04:09 AM
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Hmm, interesting & I suppose it could be helpful. I also wonder what parameters you're working to, whether it will be an automatic app or it's a consult service?

We see all the time here that it is hard to take good hoof pics, and that if they're not taken squarely, it can give an inaccurate idea. So ensuring people take good, square pics is one hurdle.

The next is that you can't make accurate 'diagnoses & treatment plans' from photos, let alone from just one single angle. There are also different reasons for some 'signs'(there's more to it than just looking at a hoof) and some things look better or worse in photos than in real life. Some perceived 'faults' may also be correct for that horse/hoof, such as higher heels than 'ideal' and in some respects, 'ideal' is very open to opinion, as are specifics of treatment/trimming.

So... I'm imagining if it's an app, it will have to have a lot of 'disclaimers' & will only be good for very general, basic ideas. If it's a consulting service, you will need more than a few pictures to get enough to give more than that, and still, you can only give general type advice(albeit far better than nothing for those who have no 'real' support). I suggest you look at some of the 'hoof help' threads here & hoof pics that have been 'marked up' to, to see what's needed & what can be told from pics. I think we have a pretty nifty & free 'consulting service' here actually - there are a few here who really know their stuff.

I can see this could be useful for horse owners, to recognise/consider what they're seeing, and for aspiring but uneducated & inexperienced farriers/trimmers.

Perhaps good for farriers who have a problem sharing their knowledge, to show their clients to help them understand. IMO a good farrier/trimmer should also be able to explain adequately without marked photos, and a good farrier/trimmer who feels confident enough to take money off people for the job most certainly shouldn't need instruction in what they're seeing... although in reality, many farriers & trimmers I know of would benefit from an app like that, to learn from surreptitiously...

So anyway, that's my opinion about what I imagine you're aiming for. Hope it helps.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-25-2014, 04:46 AM
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^^^ This.

Also, I obviously don't know the law(s) in NZ, but in the U.S., if this was to become a widely available service to the general public, you would potentially be treading very close to running up against veterinary laws that exist in most states.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-25-2014, 07:33 PM
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It is not a new idea exept maybe as a phone app. It has been in wide use for a long time with vets and farriers alike : Metron-Hoof and Metron-Hoof-Pro Software

So You should probably check to be sure you are not going to infringe on any existing patents......
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-25-2014, 10:32 PM
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^Feedback on the Metron thing Patty?? Have you had a play with it?
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-26-2014, 03:34 PM
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Agree with loosie, pictures are decieving and there are too many factors involved, one of the biggest being the tendency for shoers/trimmers to Dress The Hoof, before and after where a Washboard Hoof after energenic raspning, sanding and polishing look´s like the perfekt hoof.
Many times it is not just the hoof that has too be look at....but the whole horse, it´s conformation, condition and how it moves.

And as mentioned earlier, it might be stepping on some toes.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-27-2014, 08:02 AM
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Feedback on the Metron thing Patty?? Have you had a play with it?
I have not personally purchased or used it .
But a lot of researchers , vets, trimmers and farriers who are documenting case studies do have it including the ELPO.
I have seen many presentations given at conventions and seminars where they used that software to document hoof changes. The user can mark up anything they want with it and it gives you all the measurements.
All you need is one reference in the photo or Xray for for actual size and then it measures everything you mark up from there.
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