August 5, 2011Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, La., has selected Resonance Technology’s CinemaVision magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatible 3-D audio-video entertainment system to bring a new level of comfort to patient scanning and to help distinguish the site in its local market.

“Many of our patients were fearful or even claustrophobic in the dark, noisy MRI environment,” said John Gerhold, assistant radiology administrator for the busy community hospital. He notes that delivering a satisfying patient experience is an important goal for the hospital. “Some patients, particularly children, simply could not tolerate the exams, and we had no choice but to sedate them to complete the procedure.” Approximately one in five patients requires sedation to reduce the anxiety associated with MRI scanning. Others become afraid or restless and may move repeatedly during the procedure, resulting in motion artifacts or exam retakes.

Successfully overcoming these issues, CinemaVision is a 3-D video and sound system that functions flawlessly within the MRI’s magnetic field. It has no metal components and no impact on MRI image quality. The device immerses patients in a calming virtual world, combating the fear or claustrophobia during long confining scans. 

Prior to installing its new CinemaVision, Lakeview had been relying on a 10-year-old unit that became obsolete as technology progressed. “We already knew that movies and music in the MRI were major patient satisfiers, and we wanted to upgrade to the latest technology,” said Gerhold. “With the new CinemaVision unit, patients will be able to come in with iPods and we can download their music right to the device so they can enjoy personalized entertainment and relaxation.”

Gerhold notes that several competing local imaging sites have open MRI scanners with far lower magnet strength than Lakeview’s 16-channel HDtx technology. “We believe the exciting new CinemaVision system will enable us to provide a more satisfying exam experience with already much higher image quality compared to these open MRI exams, leading to better patient care,” he said. 

The new CinemaVision 3-D audio-video entertainment system also will help Lakeview pare down patient waiting time, complete more exams in a day and fill patient schedules more efficiently. “By streamlining the procedure overall and eliminating repeat exams or exam sequences, our schedule will proceed much more predictably,” he said.

CinemaVision overcomes a range of significant technological challenges to perform reliably within the MRI and eliminate all metal components. Patients enjoy entertainment delivered through a sleek, lightweight headset from DVD/CD, digital audio sources, radio and more. They view 3-D movies on the equivalent of a 62-inch video display seen from 5 ½ feet, enveloping them in a complete virtual reality. On some units, a new viewing system combines an adjustable high-resolution video panel mounted inside the MRI bore and a mirrored audio/video headset. This system delivers industry-leading all-digital 240,000 pixel video resolution.

CinemaVision also enables live interaction between the patient and technologist and provides a view of the technologist’s reassuring face from within the magnet bore.

“We expect our new CinemaVision to have significant benefits for children, in particular, who often can tolerate MRI exams without sedation when viewing cartoons or other entertainment,” said Gerhold. “This technology helps us enhance our quality of patient care for everyone. Even for people not fearful of the MRI, it often helps streamline the process and make it more pleasant, while promoting a more precise diagnosis.”

For more information: www.mrivideo.com/

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