I know from personal experience that getting an MRI is not exactly a lot of fun. A stranger rolls you into a small tube and tells you to remain perfectly still. Then unseen gears and magnets start to whir and crank. In a manner that sounds more like a broken-down car than a sophisticated piece of medical machinery. The whole contraption is jarring, even if you’re not claustrophobic. At least adults generally understand why they’re inside of one, though. Imagine being a kid who doesn’t? It must be a nightmare. This is why LEGO wants to help ease their worries. The company will send custom MRI Scanner LEGO sets to hospitals so children can learn all about them before undergoing the real scan.
LEGO has plans to send hospitals their own mini MRI Scanner set (which we first heard about at DesignTAXI). This isn’t for sale, though. Instead, the endeavor is part of the company’s Local Community Engagement program. Here’s what LEGO says about the buildable set and why the company is gifting them to medical institutions.
LEGO employee Erik Ullerlund Staehr had a great idea – to build a LEGO model of an MRI scanner that could help medical staff prepare children for treatment. This would reduce their anxiety and make their experience more playful and less scary. The MRI model is now being built by employees across the world to distribute to their local hospitals.
It’s easy to see why the sets might help ease kids’ anxiety. You can’t really take apart an actual MRI scanner to show kids how they work. But you can easily open up this blue and white set to remove some of the mystery behind how they function. And it also lets kids know how close the MRI technician really is.
Getting an MRI is not fun, and nothing can change that. But making the experience a little less scary for children will be a big help.