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Disney and Philips join forces to improve the experience of children receiving MRI exams

Little Mermaid scene in MRI machine

Royal Philips, a health technology company, and The Walt Disney Company EMEA have revealed the formation of a new partnership that will combine custom-made animations, including specially-made Disney stories, and Philips Ambient Experience, a dynamic lighting and projection enhancement to their MRI experience designed to create a relaxing atmosphere.

The partnership is starting with a clinical research project in six hospitals across Europe. It marks the first time Disney has collaborated as part of a clinical research project of this kind.

Frankly, I know a number of adults who would like the animated Disney stories option for their MRI scans.

About the clinical research partnership:

  • Philips will investigate how Philips Ambient Experience – using a series of animated stories, including some of Disney’s most beloved characters, – can improve the patient and clinician experience during pediatric MRI procedures.
  • Philips Ambient Experience will render six pieces of original, stylized Disney animation – created specially by Disney animators for use in hospitals with clinical guidance from Philips – intended to reduce fear and anxiety often felt by a child in the MRI process.
  • The Disney animation features characters like Mickey Mouse, Ariel, Marvel’s Avengers, Star Wars’ Yoda and others, coming together in a diagnostic setting for the first time.

The goal of the research pilot is to help alleviate children’s anxiety, create bonds and improve the staff’s ability to carry out their tasks in MRI scanning rooms across six leading European hospitals.

Stylized Yoda

A good match for improving childhood health

The collaboration brings together Philips’ vast clinical knowledge and expertise combined with a deep understanding of patient needs with Disney’s masterful storytelling. It will allow children to select Disney content featuring their favorite character to help provide them with a sense of familiarity, control and comfort.

From joining Aladdin and Jasmine on a magical carpet ride to gently swinging through city skyscrapers with Spiderman, each story is specially designed to calm and support the child through their experience.

“A visit to the hospital can be quite intimidating for people, and especially children, where a more patient-friendly, patient-centric environment could help improve the patient experience and help drive first-time-right imaging for improved outcomes,” said Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader of Precision Diagnosis at Philips.

“With this pilot study, we will investigate the impact of Philips Ambient Experience including Disney’s specially developed themes to empower children with a positive experience to help them throughout the medical procedure,” continued Wesdorp. “Philips has always taken a human-centric approach to healthcare. Together, we can make a real difference for thousands of young patients going through medical procedures each day.”

Sorcerer Mickey as ambient entertainment for MRI machine

“I have seen first-hand that MRI scans can be intimidating for children, and I like how focused Philips is on the patient experience,” said Jan Koeppen, President, the Walt Disney Company, EMEA. “At Disney, we look forward to complementing Philips’ MRI experience with our stories and characters. We are excited to see the results of the clinical research and to quantify the impact our characters can have in this environment.”

A recent study carried out by the New Economics Foundation identified that in addition to creating a positive experience, the well-known Disney characters help build trust for children in anxious circumstances.

The research also identifies that, through the power of Disney’s storytelling and characters, it can inspire and create positive feelings, experiences and memories helping children and young people to cope where and when they need it most.

Disney has a long history delivering magical storytelling storytelling to children’s hospitals and places of care across the world. In 2018, Disney announced a further commitment of $100 million to help reimagine the patient journey for children in hospitals around the world as part of their global Social Purpose program.

Recommended Reading: Disney upgrades AdventHealth Children’s Hospital to bring Disney new innovative storytelling to children battling disease.