Stressed About Your MRI? Our New Technology Helps Reduce Anxiety

Jan 20, 2019 / Radiology

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam is one of the important tools your doctor has to diagnose a medical problem. However, patients can often feel anxious when undergoing an MRI for a number of reasons. To help promote a more relaxing experience for patients, Reliant now offers MRI exams that feature Ambient Experience technology.

This means that while a patient is undergoing their MRI exam, they also can “be” on an exotic island or traveling through a serene African desert. Children can be surrounded by cartoon scenes or swim with the whales underwater.

The Ambient Experience takes place while the patient is inside the bore (tube) of the MRI, helping to reduce anxiety by immersing patients in a true multi-sensory experience. Patients get to choose their preferred atmosphere during the exam while soothing colored lights and visual scenes are projected on the walls and audio plays to provide “positive distraction.”

The new interactive technology has been carefully designed to reduce the stress, anxiety and claustrophobic feelings that some patients experience during their exam. Surveys have shown that patients report a significant drop in anxiety while undergoing an MRI exam with the Ambient Experience. In addition, the calming effect of this technology actually allows a more effective exam by preventing unnecessary movement, so patients are less likely to have to retake the exam.

“Reliant is proud to offer two new state-of-the-art 1.5T Bore MRI systems with the Ambient Experience at our 5 Neponset Street, Worcester office,” remarked Wendy MacLeod, Manager of Diagnostic Services. “Not only does the technology help us achieve higher-quality imaging, the Ambient Experience helps patients feel more at ease, especially those who are anxious or fearful about their exam. Patients are already telling us how much the Ambient Experience has helped them.”

You can learn more about Reliant’s best in class MRI technology here and also view a video on the Ambient Experience.

11 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Posted by Deb Hobby

    I had an MRI done about a month ago. It was my first experience there. I wasn’t given an option on what I wanted to see, and also heard nothing. It was silent, I thought there would be some kind of music. It honestly didn’t help my anxiety. The scenes in the forest seemed to last forever, and without sound, it was upsetting. I honestly enjoyed the option in the past of what kind of music I liked, and picked the 60’s, which to me I could sing along to take my mind off the exam. I was disappointed in this new setting, wish there was music. The tech seemed to be in a rush, and put on my headphones so quickly. I guess everyone is different!

    March 3, 2021 3:40 pm Reply
  2. Posted by Tom OBrien

    Is the ambient MRI the wide bore or separate machines?

    July 8, 2020 7:20 pm Reply
  3. Posted by Cathy Faiola

    I had a shoulder MRI done last year with contrast. I only had one MRI previous to that and it was bad enough that I swore I would never do it again. The experience in this new MRI machine was amazing. I actually fell asleep ~ it was so relaxing ( I chose the ocean visuals). Hearing and seeing the ocean, birds, etc. I have to have another MRI done soon and am actually looking forward to it!

    February 6, 2020 11:43 am Reply
  4. Posted by Jill Andrews

    I’m curious about the wide bore MRI. How much bigger is it? Is it still a tunnel? is there a picture of the thing so I can see what I’m getting into?? I’m very claustrophobic.
    Also, if they are just doing my brain, can I go headfirst so my feet and legs are out?
    And, silly question, but I saw a guy reading a book. Is that really possible in the wide bore MRI?

    May 31, 2019 4:38 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Jill. The wide bore is 70 cm. For a brain scan your head has to go in first. You cannot read as you will move from that. It is a tube, but you can watch a video to take your mind off where you are. Just needs to make sure to tell the tech that you are claustrophobic.

      June 3, 2019 4:03 pm Reply
  5. Posted by Tom OBrien

    Do you take United Healthcare? I’m claustrophobic in regular MRIs. If so how would I make an appointment?

    April 29, 2019 6:06 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Tom, we do take United Healthcare. To make an appointment you will need a referral from your primary care provider.

      April 30, 2019 9:10 am Reply
  6. Posted by Den

    Is this new MRI machine standard, or the patient has to request it? I dread MRIs because I’m claustrophobic.

    January 31, 2019 8:22 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Den. This is the standard at our Neponset location! No need to request it.

      February 1, 2019 9:30 am Reply
  7. Posted by Neil mccoy

    Had a head MRI in late December 2018. My 6th MRI in the last 4 years. Best MRI experience of all. Not even close. But – if you wear glasses it is a big fail; as the Ambient Experience is unwatchable. No music option for us that are nearsighted. Even with this limitation it still was my best experience.

    January 31, 2019 12:37 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Thank you for sharing your experience!

      January 31, 2019 12:38 pm Reply

Some HTML is OK


Am I eligible to use Virtual ReadyMED?

Are you or the patient 4+ years old?
Are you in Massachusetts at time of video visit?
Do you have a Reliant PCP?
Do you have access to email on the device you are using?
By continuing I’m giving Reliant permission to communicate with me via text or email to complete this visit.

Am I eligible to use Virtual ReadyMED?

Do you have a MyChart account?