Skip to main content

New MRI technology recently introduced at Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) is helping to alleviate the anxiety and claustrophobia patients may feel during scanning procedures.

The hospital’s new MRI-compatible audiovisual system is allowing patients to have an immersive distractive experience while undergoing this imaging procedure. The system, the first of its kind in a New Jersey hospital, utilizes virtual reality goggles and headphones providing vivid video and symphonic-quality audio, which provide a high-definition movie experience that distracts patients from the confined space and MRI noise.

Patients have the option to play a Blu-Ray or DVD movie on the CinemaVision Controller in order to see it during the MR scanning procedure. Features of the system include widescreen video display and head mounting that produces the equivalent of a dramatic 62-inch screen viewed from a five-and-half foot distance.

Nicholas DeMonte, Lead MRI Technologist at MMC, says the technology has been very well received by both pediatric and adult patients undergoing an MRI exam. The ease of use and set up enables the MRI technicians to offer the option to a large selection of patients, he adds

Studies have shown that this technology can significantly reduce the number of patients who require sedation for an MRI and assist those who are claustrophobic, according to Dr. Jonathan Teitelbaum, Chair of Pediatrics at MMC. He notes the technology is helpful to both adults and children, but is particularly useful for pediatric patients who are often unable to remain still during an MRI scan.

“Sedation can help patients remain still during an MRI scan, but it does carry risks and may cause nausea, vomiting, irritability and fatigue, requires fasting, and adds to the time the patient spends in the imaging facility,” explains Dr. Tejas Shinde, Chair of Radiology at MMC.

MMC, part of the RWJ Barnabas Health health care delivery system, offers the most advanced MRI technology, providing patients with state-of-the art imaging that increases patient comfort, while helping radiologists and doctors receive more precise imaging through adjustable receiver coils. Its MRI units hold accreditation from the American College of Radiology, an achievement recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging.