Virtual Reality-System for the Reduction of Children's Anxiety during MRI scans

The project VR-RLX focuses the idea of using Virtual Reality technology to reduce stress and anxiety of patients during medical treatments. Distracting patients and shifting their attention to a virtual relaxing world is the key aspect of this research project. Though the medical examination in MRI scanners is harmless many patients, especially children often react with strong defense reactions. Hence, the use of sedatives is a common medication-based approach to relax patients though several risks exist.

We believe in an innovative use of entertainment technology for the improvement of the healthcare and the subjective comfort of the patient while reducing potential risks. To achieve this, we joined forces with our partners from medical technology and the entertainment industry to create a VR system including hard- and software tailored to this application. For the use of VR in MRI scanners, this project aims to introduce a special MRI-suitable Head Mounted Display (HMD) that will allow creating an immersive and playful virtual environment, thus a joyful experiences regardless of the oppressing narrowness and deafening sounds. Developing effective strategies to reduce anxiety and stress by identifying and implementing immersive media will be the main task for the core concept of this future-oriented project.

Project Funding

This project is founded by the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE).



  • Stefan Liszio, M.Sc.

    Telefon: +49 203 379 2440

    Telefax: +49 203 379 4476

    E-Mail: stefan.liszio[at]uni-due.de

    Raum: LE 331


    • Stefan Liszio and Maic Masuch. Connecting Hospitalized Kids and their Families with Social VR Games. In 16th Interaction Design and Children Conference, ACM, 2017. (2017)
    • Maic Masuch and Stefan Liszio. Participatory Design of Virtual Reality Applications for Children Under Medical Treatment. In 16th Interaction Design and Children Conference, 2017. (2017)
    • Stefan Liszio, Katharina Emmerich and Maic Masuch. The influence of social entities in virtual reality games on player experience and immersion. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, ACM, 2017. (2017)
    • Stefan Liszio, Linda Graf and Maic Masuch. The relaxing effect of virtual nature - immersive technology provides relief in acute stress situations (to appear). In Brenda K. Wiederhold and Giuseppe Riva (eds.), Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine (ARCTT), Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA, USA, 2018. (2018)
    • Stefan Liszio and Maic Masuch. Virtual Reality MRI: Playful Reduction of Children’s Anxiety in MRI Exams. In Proceedings of 16th Interaction Design and Children Conference, ACM, 2017. (2017)