GE Healthcare MRI

GE Healthcare has designed a completely new type of MRI scanner for children, which not only significantly reduces stress levels, but even turns getting an MRI into something fun.

A 2006-2007 hospital study showed that children tend to be so scared of standard MRI rooms that many of them need sedation to get through the procedure. 

The GE team pinpointed what exactly caused this anxiety, such as the noise, the movement of the machine and the need to remain absolutely still. GE Healthcare then turned to other industries for inspiration to tackle these issues. An advisor of the Betty Brinn Children's Museum was a first source of support. After all, the advisor had a thorough knowledge of, and useful insights in, how to create and incorporate play into more formal settings. The Walt Disney Company served as a second source of inspiration. The Disney Imagineering Approach, typically used in the design and development of Disney attractions, theme parks and hotels, proved especially applicable. Together with all these partners, and with the help of physicians and nurses, GE Healthcare started working on the common goal of creating an MRI room that would take children on imaginative adventures rather than causing them stress.

As a result of this cross-industry inspiration and innovation project, MRI rooms emerged in the shape of pirate islands (with a moving pirate ship for a bed), space adventures (featuring a noisy spaceship), jungles, campsites, safari adventures, and so on. Children's anxiety levels during MRI scans dropped significantly when they were led to believe they were on an adventure. As a result, hospital efficiency increased drastically.

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