Guiding children through medical examination
  • Posted:
  • 5 October 2015
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LE PETIT MONDE is a non-profit organization established in 1997 by pediatricians in Lyon. Its purpose is to provide “humanizing” and “soothing” solutions to improve the conditions of hospitalized children.

The APICIL group funded the playful MRI project
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is currently the most sophisticated test regarding medical imaging.

Although painless and non-traumatic physically, the MRI has however three psychological constraints: lying on their back in a cylinder, the noise and necessary stillness for a relatively long period of time can be distressing for a child. As a result, for children under the age of 6 the test is almost systematically performed under general anesthesia or sedation drug. In such conditions, the examination becomes less trivial.

The project
To familiarize the child to a stressful examination and to reduce the number of children under the age of 6 examined under general anesthesia in children.

Through the simulation of examination conditions, the MRI simulator prepares the child and helps him accept the distressing elements related to the technology and environment, which greatly improves image quality for children examined without anesthesia.

During the MRI, the child, not anesthetized, can watch the same movie clip showed in the MRI room or another movie with a nonmagnetic screen also installed in the MRI room (funded by Le Petit Monde via APICIL group).

Clinical research
A clinical research protocol was implemented to confirm the benefits of using this simulator with children before going through with the MRI.
This study was conducted from late 2008 to late 2010 in the service of radio Pediatrics Hospital Femme -Mère – Enfant under the direction of Professor JP Pracros head of the department of pediatric imaging in the hospital.

When design steps in
The association and its partner APICIL wanted an innovative design for the prototype to be deployed in other pediatric imaging sites.

The idea of the rocket originally designed and tested by the medical team was extended and developed by DOmed. The challenge was to combine in a one design the playful imagination of a child, the journey to the stars, and the official “smoothed” language of the real MRI. It is important not to “trick” the child regarding the reality of real examination he will go through.

DO has made functional full scale prototypes in order to observe children and the practitioners in charge of the examination perceptions.

The design had to take into account technical solutions that adapted to hospital environment and economically accessible in the context of patronage.