An MRI scan is stressful for many adults. Imagine what it feels like for children.
That’s why Philips and The Walt Disney Company EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) are going to see how animations can enhance kids’ patient and clinician experience during MRI procedures. They will test the effects of custom-made animations, including custom-made Disney stories. This project will start this summer in six European hospitals.
“A visit to the hospital can be quite intimidating for people,” says Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader of Precision Diagnosis at Philips. “Especially for children. Together, we can make a real difference for thousands of young patients going through medical procedures each day.”
Phillips’ Ambient Experience
These Disney animations will be used as part of Philips’ Ambient Experience. This is a unique, people-focused approach to improving the health care experience. Space and work processes are logically arranged. This creates an uncluttered, motivating environment for care professionals.
The experience includes dynamic lighting, sound, colour and images. These create a positive, calming environment for patients and their families. Patients can select a theme of their choice. They can personalise the room’s lighting, video and sound.
This gives them a sense of self-determination and control over the procedure. It helps the patients to positively focus on the Ambient theme. Philips, a multinational company based in Eindhoven, has implemented more than 2,000 of these solutions worldwide.
Original Disney animations
Philips’ Ambient Experience will display six original, stylised Disney animations. These were created specifically by Disney animators for use in Philips clinically supervised hospitals. They’re designed to reduce the fear and anxiety children often, understandably, experience whilst undergoing an MRI.
The Disney animation features well-loved characters like Mickey Mouse, Ariel, Marvel’s Avengers, Yoda from Star Wars, and others. These characters come together, for the first time, in this diagnostic setting.
The research pilot aims to not only help alleviate young patients’ anxiety. It also hopes to build rapport and improve the staff’s ability to perform their MRI duties. The Ambient Experience Patient In-bore Connect helps patients relax and follow directions.
Must move as little as possible
It’s vital that they move as little as possible during an MRI procedure. Something every parent knows is hard for kids. But the less they move, the less likely it is to do a repeat scan. Philips’ Ambient Experience has proven, among other things, a reduction in the need for these repeat procedures.
Children can choose Disney material featuring their favourite character. They could take a ride with Aladdin and Jasmine. Or deftly swing between skyscrapers with Spiderman. Each story is designed to calm and support children throughout their experience.
This partnership combines two seemingly opposites. Philips’ extensive clinical knowledge, expertise, and thorough understanding of patient needs. And Disney’s masterful storytelling.
The New Economics Foundation recently did a study. It found that the familiar Disney characters not only create a positive experience. They boost kids’ confidence when they’re feeling anxious too.
The study also found that Disney’s stories and characters can inspire and create positive feelings. They create positive experiences and memories too. These help youngsters cope when and where they need it most.
It’s the first time that Disney’s taking part in such a research project. “I have seen first-hand that MRI scans can be intimidating for children,” says The Walt Disney Company, EMEA’s president, Jan Koeppen. “And I like how Philips focuses on the patient experience.”
‘Looking forward to it’
“We look forward to using our stories and characters to complement the Philips MRI experience. We’re excited to see the results of the clinical research. And to quantify the impact our characters can have in this environment.” The project should yield results later this year.
Disney has a long history of bringing magic and stories to children’s hospitals and care centres worldwide. In 2018, they announced a further five-year commitment of $100 million (well over €83 million). This is to help reshape young patients’ hospital journies. That’s part of their global Social Purpose programme.
Translator: Melinda Walraven