Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital Partners with Canon Medical to Reduce Patient ‘Scanxiety’

Image courtesy of Pop Design and Projects

Specialist fluoroscopy suite, incorporating new state-of-the-art Ultimax-i X-ray machine, reimagined to put paediatric patients at ease while delivering optimum diagnostic versatility and image quality at lower radiation dose

X-rays can be a daunting experience for patients, especially children. To help reduce ‘scanxiety’ – the increased level of anxiety patients may feel before, during, and after a scan – Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, partnered with Canon Medical Systems UK to reimagine the whole X-ray experience. This included transforming the hospital’s fluoroscopy suite, via an extensive makeover, into a welcoming, comfortable, and even fun place for children while delivering the most advanced diagnostic imaging service via the new Ultimax-i X-ray system.

Managed by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust and located within the grounds of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital serves the local population, as well as being a tertiary referral centre for children across the Southeast. To meet high demand, the hospital provides a 24-hour, year-round, fluoroscopy service for newborns through to 17-year-olds requiring specialist diagnostic scans.

Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital selected Canon Medical to create a visually alluring scanning environment to house the new Ultimax-i X-ray system. To appeal to children – many of whom have additional needs – the renovation included a floor-to-ceiling under-the-sea theme featuring sea creatures and a submarine, LED mood lighting to create a calming atmosphere, and a ceiling-mounted interactive projector featuring 50 different games and challenges for children to enjoy pre- and post-scan.

Offering diagnostic versatility, the Ultimax-i enables Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital to meet growing demand by enabling clinicians to see a broader age range of patients with a variety of conditions.
Firstly, by optimising workflow space, it allows for more complex scans and procedures to take place without additional reconfiguration of floor space. Secondly, an innovative multidirectional C-arm and an adjustable tilting table allow clinicians at the hospital superior ergonomic access to the patient’s anatomy. Meanwhile, light-beam diaphragm functionality ensures greater precision for centring and collimation.

By offering clinicians a more complete and accurate patient view, the Ultimax-i reduces the need for patient movement and multiple images to be taken during scans, improving overall operator workflow and efficiency and, most importantly, ensuring patient comfort and safety. The smoother the scanning process, the better the child’s experience, helping to reduce fear and anxiety during the scan.

In addition to unsurpassed image quality, the Ultimax-i includes DoseRite, a comprehensive dose management suite of technology to minimise patient X-ray exposure. Clinicians are empowered with three variable dose modes to choose from, ensuring precise control over radiation exposure. Patients experience a notable reduction in dose exposure, thanks to fewer repeat views required, enhancing safety and comfort throughout the imaging process. This is particularly important when scanning children, many of whom are regular visitors requiring multiple scans.

The new Ultimax-i system offers simplicity and, due to its versatility and superior image quality, enables the hospital to provide a wider range of services and keep up with the growing demand for diagnostics. Ongoing support from Canon Medical’s App Specialists also means that the hospital can adapt the functionality of the equipment in the future to enhance useability and unlock further capability as required.