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News archive - February 2016

Multi-sensory imaging unit opens at Welsh hospital

Multi-sensory imaging unit opens at Welsh hospital

The Children’s Hospital for Wales has installed a new multi-sensory imaging department - the first of its kind in the UK.

LATCH Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity, Koledo, Philips, and Gielissen Interiors and Exhibitions have launched ‘Latchmosphere’, the result of a collaboration between designers and clinical consultants.

The initiative helps to support the emotional needs of the children and the imaging requirements of staff across the touch points of a patient’s journey. The result is a calming, empowering experience for young people.

The installation consists of Philips Ambient Experience (AE) projected wall-sized animations, which are provided as positive distractions, while children can also interact with elements of the lighting, projected imagery, and music within the department.

Fully-Dynamic LED, touch-responsive wall and animation light floor have been installed in the waiting area of the radiology department. Hygienically-compliant, these interactive displays can be controlled by the children and offer a playful distraction while they wait for their scan. The department also includes a Philips KittenScanner that educates the children through play and helps them better understand the scanning process. Similar animations can be chosen by the children to watch during the scan itself.

Sarah McIntyre, senior radiographer at the Children’s Hospital for Wales, said: “Children living with cancer face enormous challenges day-to-day, so any tool we can bring to the department that in some way improves their experience, is a welcome addition. “Latchmosphere provides children with the ability to create their own environment in the imaging rooms, helping them to remain calm and still during their scan to, hopefully, improve their experience and the images captured.

“We believe it’s working really well as a recent user survey has highlighted the positive impact this new environment is bringing to the service.”

The results of the survey showed that 72% of respondents described the experience of the imaging procedure as ‘a lot better’, and 89% said the experience for children in the new department is ‘better’ or ‘a lot better’.

Philip Price, honorary president of LATCH, said: “MRI scans are a critical part of cancer treatment as they allow doctors to diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been. But, out of everything they go through, the children tell us that they are most scared of the scanner. It’s a big machine and they can be in there for up to 45 minutes at a time and need to lie very still, which is why many children have to be given a general anaesthetic. This may come with side effects, so it’s much better for the child if they don’t have one. That’s why we’ve been working with the Children’s Hospital of Wales and Philips to try and help children be relaxed, calm, and as still as possible during their scans.”

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