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Siemens Healthcare partners with UHNM NHS Trust to relieve imaging-related fears


29 June, 2015  

Siemens Healthcare has launched a unique new mobile application at UKRC 2015, the leading diagnostic imaging event in the UK, designed to provide education and relieve possible fears surrounding MRI scans for both children and adults.

The MRI Scan app offers a 360-degree virtual MRI scan with realistic sounds, preparing patients for what to expect prior to a scan. The app is designed to improve the patient experience and optimise procedure workflow while reducing the number of cancelled MRI appointments.

Further strengthening its portfolio of technology for paediatric support, Siemens Healthcare has partnered with University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) to develop a virtual department web app aimed at children, to help alleviate some of the fear and anxiety associated with attending hospital for diagnostic imaging investigations. The web app allows each child to select a character appropriate to their age and gender and to select the modality that relates to their upcoming appointment: Fluoroscopy, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Molecular Imaging or X-Ray.

Alice Turner, Principal Radiographer at UHNM who developed the web app states, “Whilst reviewing our patient information as part of our ISAS accreditation process, we felt a more engaging method was needed to reach children and that this should use technology as it is something they take for granted. We developed a first phase with funding from the UHNM Charity and have since collaborated with Siemens to develop the web app further to give patients even more information and a better experience at what can be a daunting time.

The interactive nature of the web app is engaging and allows children to experience the journey they would go through in hospital. The great thing about it is that any hospital across the world can use it to put their young patients’ mind at ease and can even personalise it to reflect their own facility.

A recent survey commissioned by Siemens to coincide with the launch of the MRI Scan app revealed that one in seven people have cancelled hospital appointments because of fears to attend. The trend emerged from the survey asking 2000 people about their attitudes to their health, hospitals and medical appointments.

Jane Kilkenny, MR Business Manager, at Siemens Healthcare adds, “Patients who understand the process of what will happen when having an MRI scan are less likely to be anxious. The app is aimed at reducing fears so that patients will be less likely to cancel their appointment, or in the case of a child, need to undergo an anaesthetic, both of which can be at a large cost to the hospital. The Siemens Healthcare mission statement is that ‘we innovate to improve human health’. This app is an example of where we have innovated to improve the wellbeing of those who are about to have an MRI scan.

The Siemens MRI Scan app is now available to download free of charge for tablet devices from both iTunes and Google Play. The UHNM web app can be found at www.radiologyforkids.com and operates on any PC, tablet or smartphone. Radiographers, Radiologists, and Heads of Imaging and Patient Services in attendance at UKRC 2015 in Liverpool all had the opportunity to trial the two products and put their questions to representatives from Siemens Healthcare and UHNM.

The app and web app will be available through the Siemens Education Portal and will sit alongside Siemens’ range of interactive learning tools. The portal includes a range of workshops that bring science, technology and engineering to life and the ‘Inside the Human Body’ game to educate students on how the body works.