E5117. Tiny Tech, Big Smiles: Toy MRI Scanner Transforms the Pediatric Experience
  1. Mark Rocco; Children's Hospital New Orleans; Louisiana State University
  2. Mae Igi; Children's Hospital New Orleans; Louisiana State University
  3. Jagan Gupta; Louisiana State University; Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System
  4. Gupta Neel; Tulane University School of Medicine
  5. Hannah Dimmit; Children's Hospital New Orleans
  6. Doug Casey; Louisiana State University
Pediatric patients often experience anxiety and apprehension when faced with cross-sectional imaging exams. Certified Child Life Specialists play a crucial role in preparing young patients for these procedures, aiming to alleviate their fears and improve examination results. This study introduces an approach to enhance pediatric imaging experiences by creating action-figure sized toy MRI scanners, complete with lights, sounds, and a movable table, for children to play with prior to their scans. Pediatric patients undergoing cross-sectional imaging and their caregivers benefit from Certified Child Life Specialists, whose role in radiology includes preparation prior to imaging examinations and procedures. Child Life Services that employ the use of mock scanners have been shown to improve imaging quality, compliance, and reduce the need for sedation. We propose that preexamination preparation with a mock, 3D-printed toy scanner will reduce child distress and improve caregiver and technologist satisfaction.

Materials and Methods:
Virtual CT and MRI scanner models were purchased from an online 3D model repository. The virtual 3D models were modified and converted to stereolithography (STL) file format using free or open-source modeling software. Physical 3D models were printed from polylactic acid (PLA) filament using commercially available fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers. Standard electronic components were obtained and assembled for the integrated light and sound module. A short Likert scale survey was completed by child life specialists, imaging technologists, and radiology attending physicians after routine introduction of the scanner models. Sedation rate data was collected before and after scanner introduction.

To assess the impact of the mock scanners, a survey utilizing a Likert scale was administered to Child Life Specialists, imaging technologists, radiology attending physicians, and pediatric patients' caregivers. The results revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback, showcasing an average Likert score of 4.9 for overall acceptance of the mock scanners. Notably, the mock scanners were attributed to improved patient cooperation, reduced distress, increased satisfaction levels among medical professionals, and a decrease in sedation rate.

The project's success has implications for pediatric imaging departments and child life services. The application of 3D printing technology in healthcare settings presents an opportunity to create interactive medical toys that aid in better patient preparation and understanding. These findings underscore the importance of involving patients and their caregivers in the design and implementation of tools that enhance their medical journey. As the utilization of 3D printing continues to expand within the medical field, the integration of similar approaches holds potential to further improve patient care, foster positive experiences, and contribute to the overall wellbeing of pediatric patients. This project exemplifies the capacity of innovative solutions to bridge the gap between technology and compassionate patient care.