by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 04, 2021
Children may soon expect to see Mickey Mouse, the Avengers and other animated Disney characters pop up in front of their eyes when undergoing an MR exam at a hospital equipped with Philips Ambient Experience.
Designed to create a relaxed atmosphere, the solution has become the center of an upcoming pilot study that will investigate its ability to reduce anxiety and fear among children during MR scans by offering stories and adventures that incorporate classic Disney animations.
“During the procedure, the child's theme of choice appears throughout the process, meaning Mickey Mouse might appear on the wall near the MR system, casting spells as the Sorcerer's Apprentice from atop a mountain. Or Spiderman might swing into view, in scenes with other Marvel characters. Yoda might float peacefully in the bore as the child is being scanned or Ariel, the Little Mermaid, might swim with characters from Finding Nemo. The child's choice of story — each including an array of beloved characters — guides their experience,” Mr. Werner Satter, general manager of Philips Healthcare Experience Solutions, told HCB News.
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Using clinical guidance from Philips, animators will develop six pieces of original, stylized Disney animations specifically designed for hospitals, that will be integrated within Philips Ambient Experience. Among the characters featured will be Mickey Mouse, Ariel, Marvel’s Avengers, Jasmine and Aladdin, Spiderman and Star Wars’ Yoda. A New Economics Foundation study found well-known Disney characters create positive experiences, feelings and memories for children that enable them to cope with and build trust in anxious situations.
Philips Ambient Experience is designed to integrate architecture, design, dynamic lighting, video projections and sound to create a multisensory, personalized environment. Clinicians simply will ask a child to choose from a range of stories, including six from Disney, and the child will select one based on which characters they prefer, with the intent being to provide him or her with a sense of familiarity, comfort and control.
“Children are supported, and more empowered, because it makes the experience less stressful, more enjoyable, and that, of course, supports their parents,” said Satter. “Clinicians are supported because the experience becomes more enjoyable for them when the child is able to remain still, reducing the need for repeat scans.”
The project will be rolled out at six European hospitals this summer, with the pilot expected to be completed later in the year.
Philips Ambient Experience is on display this week at the 2021 European Congress of Radiology (ECR) virtual meeting.