MRIs are a necessary but often anxiety provoking medical procedure. Particularly with pediatric patients, fear is often a barrier to collecting quality MRI data. 49% of pediatric MRIs require sedation and up to 30% of imaging data sets are deemed unusable due to head movement (Power. et al., 2014). These sedations in turn, increase the danger of the procedure and dramatically reduce the efficacy of data collection. Play therapy tools are often used to prepare children for their scan and research shows it reduces the rates of sedation. However, the space required for traditional tools and time needed to administer them are major barriers to adoption.
Ready Teddy has developed a unique and innovative bio-sensing medical simulation that prepares pediatric patients for an MRI. Developed by leading medical VR experts and neuroscience professions, Ready Teddy was built in collaboration with world-class scientists and clinicians from the University of Southern California, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Melbourne, Australia. Ready Teddy habituates children to an MRI by walking them through a scan, then patients play biofeedback mini games that train children to remain still during the procedure. While they interact with the simulation, Ready Teddy collects biometrics including head motion and analyzes them against children who have already completed the simulation and subsequent MRI to create a predictive analytic providing clinicians with a new metric to help inform which patients need sedation.
With over 2 million pediatric sedations in the USA annually for an MRI and leading research stating that preparatory exercises can reduce sedation rates by up to 40%, it is clear that sedation is over prescribed. By measuring patient performance we are delivering a new metric for clinicians to gauge whether patients will need a sedative for their future scan, providing a unique opportunity for data driven medicine. Furthermore, by reducing the footprint of this kind of intervention in an easy to implement form factor, Ready Teddy is opening up access to biofeedback play therapy to even the smallest hospital or ambulatory imaging center anywhere in the world.
We currently have a commercial prototype in operation at the University of Melbourne, Australia and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. With every use, our database is growing larger and predictive analytics becoming more refined. Ready Teddy plans to conduct a clinical trial in the fourth quarter of 2020 to measure the effects of clinical sedation rates at Southern California imaging institutions.