Having an MRI scan can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially for the children. The process requires the patient to lie perfectly still while tapping in a tight space with loud noises generated by the current in the scanner coils. In order to help the children, MRI physicist Jonathan Ashmore and Jerome Di Pietro, a Learning Technologist at King’s College London have developed an app. Named My MRI at King’s, this app contains a 360-degree video that lets children experience the entire MRI scanning process before the real thing takes place.
Any VR headset or smart device
Children can slip on a virtual reality headset or Google Cardboard to see what actually happens on an MRI. People who have issues regarding a VR headset can also view the video on smartphone or tablet.
“I was given a 360-degree camera as a present, and I wanted to use it to help anxious children I see come into the hospital,” said Jonathan, who has done all of the filming himself. “As an MRI Physicist, putting the camera inside the scanner seemed like the most logical place to start!”
The video is pretty simple but could have a great impact on UK health system. For some children, having an MRI is quite similar to having a nightmare. Sometimes the fear got so intense that some of them even require a general anesthetic to get through the scan. Showing them the whole process before will make them comfortable, and the MRI will be quicker and cheaper.
10 years old Matthew Down, who has to have MRI scans annually said, “I was really worried before my first scan because I didn’t know what to expect, even though my dad explained I couldn’t imagine what it would be like. I think that the app is really helpful as it shows you what to expect and it really feels like you are inside the machine.”
My MRI at King’s app is currently available on Google Play Store. An iOS version will soon be available.