How Philips helps patients to relax during MRI scans

Royal Philips today announced the launch of the Ambient Experience patient in-bore solution designed to reduce patient anxiety and movement during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations. The patient in-bore solution is the latest innovation in Philips' successful Ambient Experience portfolio, which integrates dynamic lighting, projection, sound, spatial design and workflow improvements to enable hospitals to create engaging, comfortable patient environments. To date, Philips has installed 750 Ambient Experience solutions globally.

MRI is one of the most important diagnostic tools in clinical practice. Research shows the narrowness of the bore, movement restrictions and noises generated by the scanner can prompt significant anxiety in patients. To obtain the highest quality images, patients are required to remain still during the scanning process, which can last for approximately one hour. Remaining still under these conditions can prove challenging and stressful for many patients. Poor quality images resulting from too much movement often require rescans – leading to increased costs and inconvenience for both patients and clinicians. Many years of research and experience in the field have taught clinicians that certain sensory distractions can help settle patients' nerves, allowing them to better focus on remaining still.

"Regardless of how sophisticated and effective imaging solutions have become, most people facing some kind of diagnostic scan are often anxious and scared, simply because of the reason why they receive the scan," said Gene Saragnese, executive vice president and CEO of Philips Imaging Systems. "We have applied our strengths in combining our consumer, lighting and health technology expertise to create an overall better experience for patients during MRI scans."

Philips's Ambient Experience for MRI is designed to help patients relax during MRI exam. (Photograph courtesy of Royal Philips)


From the moment a patient is moved into the scanner – the point at which people report the most anxiety – through the conclusion of the examination, the Philips solution surrounds patients with engaging visuals. Patients can also listen to music and other sounds through headphones. The soothing audio and visual elements can help patients to relax and hold still during their scan.

"The Philips patient in-bore solution supports our vision to deliver the highest possible level of quality in imaging, care and service – supporting the needs of our patients," said Michel Nemery, chief physician, department of radiology, Herlev University Hospital, Denmark. "Since installing the solution, we have documented a significant drop in anxiety among our patients and increased satisfaction in both patients and staff."

As people's access to information continues to increase, a new generation of patients is emerging. Patients today are more knowledgeable about their medical conditions and therapy options, and therefore demand greater choice in where and how they are treated. As a result, hospitals are becoming increasingly people-focused to satisfy those demands. Offering an environment and an experience that helps patients cope with a difficult period in their lives is one way in which hospitals can achieve that objective.

Upon entering MRI, Interactive images are shown on the back wall and can be viewed with a mirror on the head coil, while music are being played through headphone. (Photograph courtesy of Royal Philips)


The new patient in-bore solution is an addition to the Philips Ambient Experience for MRI portfolio and is available for Ingenia and Achieva MRI systems.

Philips will be showcasing its Ambient Experience patient in-bore solution at booth #6742 the upcoming Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA), November 30th through December 5th in Chicago, where visitors will be able to experience this new solution for themselves. For more information on Philips' presence at #RSNA14, visit and follow @PhilipsHealth.

For more information on Philips innovative imaging systems that focus on the health continuum from prevention, screening and diagnosis, to treatment, recovery and wellness, visit

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