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Advances in health and medicine.
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General Health Channel
Reported March 6, 2012

Using Goggles to Avoid Sedation -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: It has been a recurring problem for younger children and sometimes adults to sit still long enough for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). An MRI test usually takes 30 to 60 minutes but can take as long as 2 hours. When a patient is receiving a MRI they are strapped by their arms, chest, and head on the table that pushes them into a cylinder barely big enough for them to fit through. For some patients this might result in feeling claustrophobic, thus sedatives are given. To avoid the use of sedatives in younger patients where the use is most common, CinemaVision Virtual Reality MRI headset was created (Source: www.webmd.com). CinemaVision Virtual Reality MRI headset is a 3-D virtual reality system providing multiple entertainment possibilities for the patient.

WHAT ALL IS INCLUDED IN THE SYSTEM: The CinemaVision Virtual Reality MRI headset includes:

  • MRI video goggles and audio headset
  • DVD/TV player controller
  • MRI technologist remote control
  • MRI technologist camera for positive 2 way communication

The MRI video goggles and audio headset offers images similar to a high-resolution 62-inch screen that is 5 feet away. The head-mount fits completely within the head coil and operates inside the magnet bore with no detrimental effects on the magnet inside the MRI machine. The DVD/TV player controller offers the patient a choice in entertainment. They can choose from any available television show or DVD. Since the audio set is attached to the goggles an input is also available for CD’s and AM/FM radio. The system provides 2 way communications: the tech camera allows the patient to be able to see the technologist when they are talking to them and the remote allows the patient to hear what the technologist is saying.

BENEFITS OF CINEMAVISION VIRTUAL REALITY: The system has benefits for both the patient and the doctor. For the patient, it helps to reduce the number of overall child sedations, which is a key concern to parents, and it of course provides 3-D entertainment. For the doctor, it helps to reduce the number of scans lost due to patients becoming claustrophobic. It can also increase the number of MRI’s performed a day by making them more enjoyable so patients don’t cancel or by increasing the clarity of MRI images, all done while improving patient care. The list price is $44,000, but hospitals save the money by decreasing the number of failed MRI’s.

A SUCCESS STORY: The system was installed in the MRI at Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in August 2011. The number of children to complete their scans without sedation doubled at the Children’s Hospital in Ft Myers (Source: www.cinemavision.biz).

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