British hospital uses VR to make MRI less scary for kids

British hospital uses VR to make MRI less scary for kids
Credit: King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

A London hospital is using VR to make medical testing more comfortable for children.

King’s College Hospital teamed with one of the hospital’s play specialists to create an app that — when worn before an MRI — helps kids understand the procedure through an immersive VR experience.

The app provides a 360-degree view of the process while a radiographer explains how it works — including what happens during and after the scan.

If you’re lucky enough to never have had one, MRIs require the patient to remain perfectly still. This can be understandably be difficult for kids. King’s representatives explain how they think the app will help:

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…as well as learning that they need to keep still for the duration of the scan.

My MRI at King’s is available at the Google Play Store.

Children at King’s first to experience virtual reality MRI on King's College Hospital

Read next: Engineers built a folding shield that can stop a bullet