- Hospitals are scary for children, especially with the machines they use like MRI and CT scanners.
- Unable to see the horror on the face of the children, this motivated industrial designer Doug Dietz to alter the experience.
- And that’s how the MR Adventure Discovery Series was born.
Hospitals are scary, especially those machines they use—children are really scared of them!
MRI and CT scans can be a nightmare to kids who are required to lie down on a metal bed listening to frightening sounds the machines make from 10 to 30 minutes. In fact 80-95% of young patients had to be sedated to help them through their fear.
The mere sight of this suffering is just unbearable for industrial designer Doug Dietz. When he worked to design an MRI machine for the University of Pittsburgh Hospital, he saw how one child was horrified by it.
“I see this young family coming down the hallway and I can tell as they get closer that the little girl is weeping. As they get even closer to me, I notice the father leans down and just goes ‘remember we talked about this, you can be brave’,” Doug said.
He then took a look at his precious machine and realized how scary it could really be for kids.
“The room itself is kind of dark and has those flickering fluorescent lights … that machine that I had designed basically looked like a brick with a hole in it.”
This experience motivated Doug to make the MR Adventure Discovery Series.
He partnered with GE Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Hospital to renovate the rooms and transform MR scanners to more interesting “adventure” themes that would make kids excited rather than scared.
They converted the rooms and the machines to very imaginative and more child-friendly environments. Even the commands were modified to make the experience more pleasing. For example, in one environment, the child is asked to get in a canoe and lie down.
“They tell children to hold still so that they don’t rock the boat, and if you really do hold still, the fish will start jumping over the top of you,” Doug explained.
Among the adventure-themed rooms were Coral City Adventure which gives underwater feels and the Cozy Camp Adventure where the children get scanned in a sleeping bag under a starry night.
Since then, Doug has been getting satisfied looks from the children.
“There is nothing like one of your main customers telling you this is a great idea,” Doug said in a TED talk. “That probably was the biggest reward I could ever have.”
Source: Good News Network