Having to go to hospital can be a stressful experience for people of all ages, but for children in particular it can be a distressing and confusing time.
Reducing the level of trauma children and young people experience when they visit the hospital is key. “We do this in a number of ways, such as specialised or distractional play, prep play and by establishing play programmes - this in part is what led us to discover the Magic Carpet.”
The Magic Carpet is an interactive projection tool, developed by Sensory Guru, who partnered with Loxit to create a mobile, robust and safe product that would house the technology.
The Trust was looking for a tool that was tailored to children and young people of all ages and stages of development, that was truly interactive. The solution should be self-led (by children and young people) so they have some control over their environment. It also needed to be mobile and meet NHS infection prevention guidelines.
“We looked at similar products, however, the Magic Carpet seemed to be the most interactive equipment that is available. It also has the ability to make an impact as soon as you walk into the room.”
The Magic Carpet is being used in the paediatric phlebotomy clinic, which takes blood from children who come into the hospital as outpatients. The clinic runs all week and sees about 30 children a day so a robust, reliable tool was also a must.
The Magic Carpet is operated by the paediatric phlebotomist and the team within the department. They operate the device from their mobile phones and have received training so that they can tailor the content to each individual child.
The phlebotomist will start by playing a calming app, such as water or poppies, so that when a child enters the room the atmosphere is quiet and relaxing.
She then proceeds to demonstrate what happens if she interacts with the content using her foot or hand, which quickly captures the child’s attention. Then she is able to explain and prepare the child for the procedure while they are captivated by the Magic Carpet.
Once the procedure is done the children get to choose which applications they want to play with until the room needs to be made available for the next appointment.
“The Magic Carpet is fantastic because it doesn’t close off any group of children or young people, it can be used by everyone. And as it responds to the slightest movement, you will have an interactive experience no matter how small or big your movements are.”
The Magic Carpet has been so effective in the phlebotomy clinic, the hope is that more will be introduced by the Trust.
“I think the Magic Carpet could also work very well for rehabilitation because it taps into cause and effect - if you take a step forward this will happen, if you take another step forward something else will happen. Children who are in rehabilitation often work well with cause and effect because it provides a means of encouragement and positive rewards. Magic Carpet is great for that. I also think that a child in an intensive care environment who was particularly unwell and has high levels of pain might benefit from access to the Magic Carpet. You could project the content onto the bed and they could enjoy the colours and relaxing sounds, which could be nice and soothing if it is administered in the right way.”
John Whittle, Director at Loxit, says: “The Magic Carpet has a number of benefits in the hospital environment, from entertaining patients and providing social interaction to aiding physiotherapy and educating patients. It is able to positively impact the hospital experience making a potentially scary and confusing experience an enjoyable one. Not only does this benefit the patient, it also enables the medical practitioner to operate more effectively thanks to patients being less distressed and more open to treatment. We’re thrilled to see it having such a positive effect at King’s College.”
Come and visit Loxit at stand G68 to find out more information.