First Hospital to use Virtual Reality to prepare kids for MRI Scan

King's College Hospital of London uses VR to make MRI Scan Less Scary for Children

King’s College Hospital of London – KCH has stepped ahead and started using virtual reality specially to prepare children for the MRI — a medical scan an annoying and disturbing process of scanning human body.

When saying annoying and disturbing for most people, the process of MRI — if you are lucky enough to not had one, requires patient to stay perfectly still during the scan. That too with different kind of noises and sounds, the machine uses to generate during the process.

That kind of process usually, in fact mostly, is daunting for children. Kids normally have to be prepared verbally or via different methods so they could remain calm during the actual process.

KCH has developed an app in collaboration with Google Play specialist team to virtually train the kids with the whole procedure before going for a real scan. “My MRI” – the app, which is currently public, can be used at home and parents can guide the kid while using the app.

KCH Virtual Reality MRI Scan

My MRI app takes the kids all the way through the events that will happen on the actual scan day, from arriving at the hospital to entering the scanner. Kids can use headphone to experience the real noises as machine would produce.

My MRI app works with VR Headset or on-screen 360° Interaction

As the app is based on VR video demonstrations, it works with VR headset including Google Cardboard on compatible handsets. In addition the app can also be used without the headset where the experience goes with interactive 360° videos which can be panned around by swiping either sides.

“The VR technology allows children to feel as though they are inside an MRI scanner and experience what it will be like on the day. Children have the opportunity to get accustomed to the loud tapping noises that happen during the scan (this is the electric current in the scanner coils being turned on and off), as well as learning that they need to keep still for the duration of the scan. For some children, having an MRI can be a frightening experience and some require a general anaesthetic to get through the scan.” — explains KCH representative.

The app is actually helpful for people if they are not aware very well with the procedure. Hope you won’t get a chance with it but still it could help many kids who may need it. You can download the app from Play Store and try on your Android smartphone.