Accessibility statement

You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »

Child’s Eye Virtual Reality View of a Hospital Visit
Cormac McGrath

  • Tuesday 5 June 2018, 6.00PM to 7.00pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
    Book tickets
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Event details

Learn about a free award-winning app designed to help children who are scared and anxious about having an MRI scan. Developed by MRI physicists Jonathan Ashmore and Cormac McGrath, the app prepares children for scans via a 360° virtual reality video of the entire MRI journey.

The app, when used with a virtual reality headset and a mobile phone, allows children to feel as though they are inside an MRI scanner. The app has greatly reduced the need for children to undergo a general anaesthetic for an MRI scan and is attracting interest from across the world.

An unexpected outcome has been the impact on parents who have said the app made them feel less anxious about their child’s scan.

Join Cormac, of Forster Green Hospital in Belfast, and his daughter Aoibhínn, who is the voice of the child on the VR app, to learn how a team of physicists, play specialists and radiographers came together to develop the app.

Prepare to take a virtual reality tour, from arriving at the MRI department to undergoing the scan itself.

This event is suitable for schools, adults and families, including primary school children.

About the speaker

Dr Cormac McGrath is the lead MRI Clinical Scientist for the Northern Ireland Regional Medical Physics Service and is the Magnetic Resonance Safety Expert for the five NHS trusts in NI. He did his PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics at Queen’s University Belfast and continued with post-doctoral work there and then at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Switching tack in 2003, he re-trained in medical physics.

Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)

Medical physicists, clinical and biomedical engineers and technologists play vital roles in delivering our healthcare. IPEM is the professional organisation that represents this workforce. The York-based charity’s mission is to constantly improve human health by the application of physics and engineering to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease through research, innovation, education and clinical practice.


Festival tweets