Kids were terrified of getting MRIs. 😨 Then one man converted it into a Pirate Ship 🚢

Akshay Lakra 🧭
2 min readApr 11, 2023
MRI converted into a pirate ship to improve experience for kids.

Doug Dietz who happens to be an industrial designer for GE Healthcare was working on building an MRI Scanner. And after completing his product, he visited the hospitals to check out how his product served in the actual environment.

While waiting for a young family to enter the MRI Room to get their scans done, he saw a girl weeping and her dad asking her to be brave. Imagine the agony of a kid going through the process of diagnosis! Doug understood something was weird and that he the product he had made was missing something.

Standing right behind the girl while she gathered her courage to get inside the big hole, Doug re-imagined from her angle and found — Though the machine had a purpose to solve, it lacked experience. Doug claims in his TED talk that “the machine looks like a giant brick with a hole in it.”.

Problem 🧩

How to improve the MRI Diagnosis experience for Kids?

Solution 🧠

Creating artistically painted MRI Scanners that not just did the job but created a playful environment that made Kids love the experience. Now it was not an MRI scanner that they went into, they now were barging inside a Pirate Ship and going on an adventure of their lifetime.

They created an “Adventure Series” placing artistic MRIs in different hospitals. They went on to create Jungle Adventure 🌳 , Pirate Island 🏴‍☠️ , Coral City 🐠 , Cosy Camp ⛺ , and many more.

Impact 👏

  1. First of all, the patient satisfaction scores went up to 92 percent & the volume of scans went up too.
  2. Children did not suffer from anxiety anymore.
  3. The children loved the experience and wanted to come more often.
  4. Easier for children to hold still during the procedure which in turn prevents repeating the scan.
  5. Less need for anesthesia lead to a lower cost to the patient’s family.

What we can Learn? 🪄

👉 We too must strive to assume a human-centric approach while building the products and innovating them as per the user’s needs. Now, this can only happen when we monitor our users closely and taking the extra effort to solve problems in their lives around our products. Every extra effort that we put in our product, makes it different from the usual market offering. Do it more often!

Any product that you got reminded of while reading this? Please share in the comments 💬

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Akshay Lakra 🧭

A Marketer amid the chaos . Read more about Marketing, Growth & Startups & let's together point the Growth Compass 🧭