Medical Imaging Made Easier with the “MIME”

Author: Vaibhavi Shah

MRIs and CT scans are essential in providing information to physicians about the nuances of a patient’s condition, from illuminating unknown complications to clarifying established knowledge. While these forms of imaging are reliable for use for a majority of adults and older individuals, younger patients and infants are often unable to stay still during the scanning process, leaving physicians with unsteady, unreliable results. Parents having to stay in the imaging machine with the child or swaddling the child up in a blanket can potentially confound results, creating a need for a smarter solution. Artificial Intelligence can address this problem through the implementation of robots that can interact with a patient even as young as 2 years old and guide them in the process of getting a scan. This robot will lead the patient to the scanner, reminding the patient to stay still throughout the process, adjusting the patient into a proper position for the scan, and even providing comfort and entertainment. This can put pediatric patients at need, and make a long, droning process a smooth one. For even younger children (infants) that may traditionally have to be put under sedation for a scan, an alternative form of this robot can be developed that can actually serve as the scanning machine. This robot can hold the child in a comfortable position and serve as the imaging scanner itself and scan the child efficiently and quickly. This robot will be a compact, smaller version of the actual imaging machine, and due to its unconventional size and shape, it can reduce many of the negative effects associated with traditional machines such as time, expense, and discomfort associated with the entire process. Therefore, the process of imaging patients can be streamlined and transitioned into a positive experience for physicians, parents, and patients alike.

Co Author/Co-Investigator Names/Professional Title: Vaibhavi Shah, High School Student