Demi Lovato belted out “Let It Go” from “Frozen” for 8-year-old Madison … College student Daniel watched dolphins dance in the ocean as he listened to the latest Weezer CD … Kate immersed herself in her favorite Chopin compositions.


Even with their diverse musical tastes, Madison, Daniel and Kate have something in common: all underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in a new broadband digital system and all three personalized the MRI environment using Ambient Experience developed by Philips, a leading healthcare technology company. This same experience is now available at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), where a new state-of-the-art digital MRI and the Ambient Experience were recently introduced. “An MRI can be challenging for some people. They can feel confined in the space and that makes them anxious,” said Mary Sterling, Director of Imaging Services at YRMC. “For people who are a little apprehensive about their MRI exam, the stark environment in most MRIs can heighten that feeling. With the Ambient Experience MRI, they can select an environment that will reduce anxiety during their MRI exam.”

How does YRMC’s Ambient Experience MRI work with the hospital’s new digital MRI system? Before an MRI exam, patients decide if they want to bring a smartphone loaded with their favorite tunes or if they want to select from YRMC’s musical menu. When they arrive for their MRI at YRMC West, patients personalize their digital MRI by selecting from a variety of themes. A point and click on a touchscreen tablet transforms the walls of the new MRI suite into an interactive show of playful pandas, dancing dolphins, inviting beaches, breathtaking mountain ranges and more. The MRI suite can just as simply be drenched in a favorite color from YRMC’s extensive palate. The Ambient Experience environments are as individualized as the people creating them. Consider that:

  • For Madison, a “Frozen” fan, her Ambient Experience included lighting the MRI room in her favorite color, pink, and listening to the animated movie’s soundtrack. Since the digital MRI does not include radiation, Madison’s mother remained with her during the exam.
  • Daniel, who was undergoing a digital MRI brain scan, chose images of dolphins diving in the ocean. They reminded him of a recent snorkeling trip to California. A mirror – located inside the magnet – allowed Daniel to watch the dolphin images which were projected on a nearby screen.
  • Kate took her love of classical music into the digital MRI. She created a calming environment that featured Fryderyk Chopin’s Nocturnes and a soothing sky-blue color.

“Ambient Experience, combined with our knowledgeable Imaging Services team, is doing wonders for people who may be anxious about their MRI exam,” Sterling said. YRMC’s Imaging Services team members are skilled at creating calm environments for patients. In addition to Ambient Experience, staff also helps reduce anxiety by comfortably positioning the individual in the scanner, providing warm blankets and speaking to people about their concerns. YRMC’s new digital MRI is faster, performing most exams in half the time of older MRIs. This is important to people who are anxious about these exams. YRMC’s digital MRI also has a “wide bore,” or opening, which helps people feel less confined. Other comfort-inducing characteristics of the digital MRI suite include soothing lights, calming sounds and an elevated ceiling. “YRMC’s new digital MRI has exceptional clarity,” Sterling said. “Together with the Ambient Experience, this digital MRI is an excellent option for everyone in our communities.”

click here to watch The Philips Ambient Experience MRI at YRMC on YouTube.

To learn more about YRMC’s Imaging Services, visit Resources or for scheduling call (928) 759-5860.