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Patient experience becoming top priority in MR suite

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 05, 2022
From the September 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By John R. Fischer

Linda Pacheco was worried about her son Paul’s next MR scan. The seven-year-old, who was diagnosed at two with a brain tumor, experienced bad reactions when sedated during his last two visits, and doctors said he could not be put under again. Pacheco worried her claustrophobic son would not be able to lie still and would become anxious during the scan.

But months before Paul’s appointment, The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto began using Resonance Technology’s CinemaVision, an integrated audio-video headset that allows children to watch movies and TV shows or listen to music during MR exams. When Paul slipped on the device, he was immediately entranced by his favorite video and forgot all about the scan.
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“My son was not afraid, and he was very comfortable during his one-hour scan. I can’t tell you how grateful my husband and I are to you,” wrote Pacheco in a testimonial to Resonance Technology, located in Los Angeles.

Today, hospitals worldwide employ solutions like this to calm patients before and during their scans, making them more adherent and cooperative so that providers can obtain quality images without having to stop or repeat exams. Additionally, patient experience technologies save on costs and prevent disruptions in hospital workflow.

HCB News sat down with designers who make these solutions to discuss the various types available, their benefits, and how they are making the imaging process more efficient, simpler, and personal and inviting for patients.

Finding the right solution
Visual solutions like CinemaVision A/V are growing in demand because of their ability to immerse patients in virtual worlds of movies and TV shows. The aim is to distract and make them forget they are undergoing an MR scan all together. CinemaVision A/V does this with the use of 3D goggles and has noise-attenuating headphones to block out the gradient sounds of the MR scanner.

Mokhtar Ziarati, president of Resonance Technology, says these elements relax the patient before they get into the scanner, reducing the risk of cancellations, and allow them to stay still, preventing the need for repeat scans.

“The image quality of the patient actually improves if they watch the movies, because they are just fixating on what’s in the movie and don’t move around,” he told HCB News.

Some organizations resort to turning the whole MR suite into another world, incorporating solutions that decorate and transform the cold and sterile environment into a fun and relaxing setting. PDC Facilities does this with its Caring MR Suite, which hides scanning equipment behind customized cabinetry, and uses colored LED lighting and natured themed images to make patients feel like they are somewhere else, like the beach, outer space, or the jungle.

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