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Virtual Entertainment Solutions Improve Patients’ Experience During MR Scans

by Luke Molnar

Forget your local cinema… the next blockbuster you see may well be viewed from the inside of a MR scanner!

By Michael Crosby.

The inside of an MR scanner can be a scary place.

As a patient, you have probably just been screened for ferrous objects and told umpteen horror stories of flying objects unexpectedly being attracted by the scanner’s magnetic field. Add to this, the claustrophobia-inducing confinement of trying to remain completely still inside the bore for up to one hour with the loud and continuous acoustic noise of the gradient coils ringing in your ears, and it is fair to say your average MR scan is not a pleasant experience.

It doesn’t have to be this way of course and certainly things seem to be improving rapidly. In recent times there has been an increasing focus on patient safety but also on patient experience within the MR – not only because it is producing happier patients, but also because it is driving greater efficiencies through improved workflow and reduced refusals and sedations. When improved efficiencies mean increased profits, it seems hospital and clinic managers take note.

There are various innovative solutions available that are designed to improve patient experience in the MR. These range from changing the MR environment itself through the use of virtual skylights and windows, lighting, projections and models to virtual entertainment systems aim specifically at the patient.

One such virtual entertainment system is SensaVue from Invivo. Designed from the ground up for an exceptional sensory experience in both routine MRI entertainment, and clinical fMRI exams, SensaVue delivers an impressive audio and video sensory experience for MRI patients. Based on technology previously used for research, Invivo offers this comprehensive, easy-to-use visual and auditory solution for clinical use.

SensaVue sends visual and auditory signals from a variety of media sources to a high-resolution 32″ display, which can be positioned virtually anywhere in the MRI suite in field strengths up to 3.0T: end of bore, side of bore over table, either side of table or foot of bore.

SensaVue is available in two configurations: SensaVue fMRI and SensaVue HD.

SensaVue HD for entertainment includes the necessary control room and in-magnet cart and display to provide a variety of media entertainment options for patients during routine clinical MRI exams. Patients may choose from music, pictures or videos stored in the SensaVue HD library, or bring their favourite media to play through the system DVD player.

SensaVue fMRI features clinically-validated experiment paradigms that may be directly triggered by most leading MRI manufacturers’ systems, up to 3.0 Tesla. The paradigm suite includes a battery of clinical fMRI tasks that provide proven activation of the motor, visual, auditory and language regions of the brain.

So should you need an MR examination in the future, the only thing you may need to worry about is finishing the latest HD movie before the end of your scan, rather than the lack of space or those horrible humming noises around you.