Aagje Hardeman joins Sleip as Global Customer Success Manager

With extensive experience as a clinical veterinarian and researcher Aagje Hardeman is a respected name in the equine community. She joins the growing Sleip team as of October 1, 2022. 

-        I’m excited to bring gait analysis to the next level. Now that technology has caught up to biomechanic research we are able to quantify asymmetries using only a smartphone, says Aagje. 

Sleip combines a passion for horses with a scientific edge both in veterinary medicine and artificial intelligence. As Global Customer Success Manager, Aagje will support veterinary clinics and practitioners and form an important connection between the product development team at Sleip and the vets.

-        Aagje is a fantastic addition to the team. She will be able to help clients with high-level data interpretations and feed insights from daily clinical practice into product development, says Axel Nyström, CEO at Sleip.

From competitive dressage to veterinary medicine and objective gait analysis

As a DVM, Aagje has spent many years working clinically with orthopedics, chiropractic care and sports medicine. The interest in objective gait analysis and how it can strengthen veterinary work led her to a PhD focusing on its clinical application. 

A high-level dressage rider at a younger age, Aagje has always been keen to explore ways of addressing performance issues. 

-        I have always really wanted to dig into subtle lameness. I’ve seen my fair share of horses come into the clinic with “poor performance issues”, where it is difficult to clearly identify the problem. Apart from performance, I think greater precision will allow us to do more preventative work, catching tendencies before they become an issue.

Technology strengthens the veterinary community

When she started working with gait analysis in 2014 Aagje found that there was a certain resistance among vets. But things are changing, and with a solution that is as easy to use as picking up your phone and filming, she believes it is a change that will pick up pace.

-        There was a similar resistance among doctors when the thermometer was introduced. Now we all recognize that the ability to quantify a fever is useful for a doctor. The smartphone is not going to diagnose your horse or treat it. It will just give you more precision, smiles Aagje.

With all recordings and data stored and easily accessible, there is an added value in terms of proper documentation of clinical examinations, which increases transparency and is helpful in explaining and following up treatments with riders and horse owners. From an educational perspective, Aagje sees clear benefits in making data and motion analysis videos accessible to vets in training. 

-        As a vet, it takes years to train your eyes. You need to spend those 10 000 hours looking at horses trotting to perfect your assessment. For a student to be able to look back at the video analysis and supporting data would be incredibly valuable, she finishes.

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