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Kids are Scared of MRI Tests. A New App Turns Them Into a Game.


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A child is prepared for an MRI test with the VR app.

A Minnesota high school student developed a virtual reality app that helps to prepare children for a magnetic resonance imaging scan.

Credit: Gillette Childrens Specialty Healthcare

Michael Cao, a high school student in Minnesota, has developed a virtual reality (VR) app that prepares children for an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

The app is a 90-second computer program stored in VR goggles.

As it begins, the user sees a cartoon image of a little boy sitting on the edge of a hospital examination table, and then a kind woman's voice starts explaining the procedure. The user next becomes the boy and lies back on the table, which begins to slide into the virtual MRI machine. If the user successfully undergoes the exam without moving too much, the program ends with confetti and cheering.

Said Chantel Barney of Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, MN, clinicians could use feedback from the app to see if a specific child will be able to lie still for the procedure, or if they will need to be sedated.

From The Twin Cities Pioneer Press
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