Photo by Macey J. Foronda/ Buzzfeed
I was having a break a couple of days ago with an old friend of mine at a quiet café in Covent Garden when a rather painful topic came up in the discussion. A couple of years ago my friend’s daughter had an MRI scan. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields to produce a detailed image of your body. The experience for her daughter was quite traumatic; she cried and could not sit still. Who would not be afraid of a giant machine, which requires you to stay still (sometimes for more than 30 minutes) and makes strange loud noises? It’s easier for adults to come to terms with the process as they understand the necessity of having an MRI scan as it’s about their health, but why should children have to endure such horrendous experience?
So, where does UX fit into this? Well, making a wonderful experience for the children that have to go through the challenge of having a scan. It turns out, that after a bit of research on the topic Doug Dietz, a designer of MRI machines at GE Healthcare has already been inspired from one of many real-life stories to create a whole new experience for children going through an MRI scan.
Children have a difficult time on their first meeting with the MRI scanner, crying and trying to get out of the room, whilst having to cope with whatever injury or even a serious illness has brought them there in the first place. It is noted that almost 80% of children that have an MRI scan are sedated before the scan as they are too scared to lie still for long enough.