Philips launches Pediatric Coaching to enhance MR imaging patient experience for young children


Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, announced the launch of Philips Pediatric Coaching, a holistic solution designed to be a less stressful experience for parents and their children undergoing MRI scans. Using gamification and ‘buddy system’ techniques to prepare children and their parents beforehand, the solution helps guide young children through the MRI procedure to significantly enhance the patient experience. Pediatric Coaching is the latest initiative launched within the Philips Ambient Experience portfolio, featuring a wide range of dedicated solutions to help enhance the experience of patient and staff.

Acquiring high quality images in pediatric MRI can be challenging for both radiologists and the child undergoing the scan. Fear of the unfamiliar environment of an MRI system can be stressful for a younger child, making them agitated and unable to lie still, which is required for good image quality. As a result, scans are often performed under sedation or general anesthesia, which according to parents, carries disadvantages such as post-scan irritability for the child and concerns of repeated anesthesia exposure [2]. Having to resort to such measures or deal with a conscious but distressed child is challenging for hospital staff, increasing procedure time and costs. By helping to empower children during an MRI scan, the Philips Pediatric Coaching solution overcomes many of these issues.

To prepare for their MRI scan, children are provided with a gamified mobile app that familiarizes the child and their parents with an MRI procedure in a playful way. The app also introduces the child to a virtual ‘buddy’ they can role-play with to perform an MRI scan – for example, pretending to be the system operator and helping their buddy to lie still in order to get the best picture. The app also uses augmented reality to allow the child to explore the MRI system at home before entering the hospital. Many parents express a willingness to help prepare their child ahead of time, and by playing alongside their child, they can also learn more about the procedure.

When the family visits the radiology department, the same familiar virtual buddy interacts with the child as they play with Philips’ newly enhanced ‘Kitten Scanner’ – a small scale educational scanner that allows children to scan various toy animals and view what’s inside each animal for a better understanding of the upcoming procedure. When the child has their scan, their buddy’s familiar voice and image are projected onto Philips’ Ambient Experience in-bore Connect solution, to guide the child through the scan procedure by coaching them, for example, on when and how to hold their breath. With the new Pediatric Coaching Solution, parents are reassured, and the child is empowered and well prepared, helping ensure the high-quality images needed for an accurate diagnosis of the child’s condition are captured.

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2020 sales of EUR 17.3 billion and employs approximately 77,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.