Improving the radiology experience for children

‘Imatgina’, developed with the CurArte Foundation and the Hospital Vall d´Hebrón in Barcelona, is a patient-centric initiative that transforms radiology for children into a friendly, fun and informative experience.
The goal of the initiative is to enhance the experience of children having diagnostic imaging tests by creating a friendly atmosphere that dispels the uncertainty and fear usually associated with these types of procedures. Alleviating anxiety and fear in the children also reduces the stress levels of their parents and carers, improving everyone’s experience of the procedure.
This patient-centric initiative first explored the views of patients, parents and health professionals at the center. Personal interviews and focus groups revealed that elements such as lack of information and absence of a friendly and fun environment can make the tests a negative experience.

In response to the feedback, the ‘Imatgina’ concept was developed by the Philips Foundation, CurArte Foundation and Paediatric Radiology Service at the Hospital Vall D’Hebron. It is based on three key aspects: education, gamification and atmosphere and includes a series of tools designed to have a positive impact on the well-being of patients and their families.


Patient information and education is a key element of ‘Imatgina’ and is delivered through gamification. A gaming application, ScanKids, was developed to show children what to expect and help reduce their fears about the tests.  Using the app, they find out in advance what the radiological tests will be like, what sensations they are likely to feel and how long the tests will take.   

ScanKids includes the most common image-based diagnostic tests for children at hospitals: X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound. Children personalize the app, selecting the test they are having and the part of their body to be analysed.  From this point on a character takes them through all the steps to be followed. At the end of the explanation of the tests, there are two anatomy-based games to entertain the young patients and enable them to learn.


The atmosphere created in the waiting room and the CT scan room was considered crucial, so an outer-space theme, based on the same characters used in ScanKids, was chosen to distract kids away from the typical white walls and lights of a hospital environment. Illustrations transport them to another galaxy, where they become astronauts with the characters from the app, exploring and learning about their body.  The CT scanner itself becomes a spaceship, which combined with the smart lighting in the room, transforms the child’s experience into a magical and spectacular adventure.


Patients control the smart lighting, changing the colors to suit their preferences and make them feel relaxed.  Moreover, luminous textiles have been installed in the waiting room incorporating a surprising and innovative decorative element, as well as warmer and pleasant LED lighting in the access areas.

For further information, see the press release.