A UK Hospital is Using VR to Make MRI Scans Less Scary

King's College Hospital MRI VR 360 VideoKing’s College Hospital has introduced VR to help ease the nervousness of children scheduled to undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan.

My MRI at King’s uses a 360° video to give people, particularly children, the chance to experience what the scan feels like before lying inside the tube-like machine, and hear the loud noises, for real. The app also takes people through all of the events they can expect on the day, right from their arrival at the hospital. The app was developed by Jonathan Ashmore, an MRI physicist at King’s, and Jerome Di Pietro, a learning technologist at King’s.

“I was given a 360° camera as a present, and I wanted to use it to help anxious children I see come into the hospital,” said Ashmore. “As an MRI Physicist, putting the camera inside the scanner seemed like the most logical place to start.”

The app is available to download for free from the Play Store, with plans to roll it out to iOS users ‘soon’.

Dr Darshan Das, consultant paediatrician in Paediatric Neurology at King’s, said: “So far the app has had some really positive feedback and I can see that it has the potential to significantly relieve anxiety and prevent the need for children to undergo an anaesthetic in many cases.”

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