Reimagine Well Introduces Virtual Reality Game to Help Patients Remain Still During MRIs

By News Release


Reimagine Well and the Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, have collaborated to develop a virtual reality (VR) game that helps patients remain still during an MRI exam. The VR headset accurately detects movement, so as the patient holds the crosshairs in the center of the circle their score increases, and the sounds of the MRI turn into natural environmental sounds. The three levels of the game are timed to last as long as the treatment the patient will receive.

"MRIs are frightening for everyone. Even when my patients overcome the fear, they have no way to practice being still, so that the scans, or radiation treatments, can be as short and accurate as possible," said Matthew David Hall, MD, lead pediatric radiation oncologist at Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida.

Leonard Sender, MD, co-founder of Reimagine Well adds, "Often virtual reality headsets are used in hospitals for distraction or entertainment purposes only. With this application, the patient is first acclimated to the sights and sounds of the MRI. Then the patient lays down and the game begins. Keeping still enables the patients to achieve the goal of bringing three different worlds from black and white to vibrant colors, giving immediate feedback along the way.

"We believe clinicians will be able to correlate the scores in the game to the accuracy of the imaging, and the duration of the patient MRI sessions. Our hope is that it will become an important predictive tool, shortening the duration of procedures, and getting more utilization out of their MRI Suites," said Dr. Sender.

Adds Roger Holzberg, co-founder of Reimagine Well, "Experiential education enables patients to undergo treatments and procedures virtually, at their own comfort level, in a gamified environment similar to the room where they will be treated, lowering anxiety. In addition  to a better patient experience overall, our experiential education programs reduce the need to reschedule appointments and increase the facility throughput."

Reimagine Well has also developed programs to reduce anxiety for EEG exams, radiation treatments and as customized and personalized distraction therapy.