Kitten Scanner

Leave a comment

December 2, 2013 by shubham79

Delivered By: Indra DeClerk Naba-Year 2 Design Kitten Scanner


The Kitten Scanner is a mini CAT scanner designed and created by Philips Healthcare and the Cancer Fund ‘Grant Life Foundation’. The Kitten Scanner is a part of another big project of Philips Healthcare, ‘Ambient Experience’.  The exhibition of the product was on the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Medical Fair, in Chicago, in 2004.


“Small faces, big fears” (1) Going to a hospital is already scary for adults so for children it is probably even more scarier. It is mostly a frightening journey away from what they are used to. They have to deal with sick people, an unknown environment and weird-looking equipment. By showing children how the scanner works, is giving them a role in the process. The Kitten Scanner shows them what they are about to go through and that gives them control. The more control, the less they think about what is going to happen and the less they’re scared. So the Kitten Scanner is a nice and distracting way to change the fear of the children and make them feel more at ease in hospitals and underneath a machine. By reducing the fear, you’re not only having calmer patients but also the examination may go smoother.


4 The KittenScanner is a mini CAT scan which the children can use to help them understand what’s happening, to help them understand how the MRI and CT process is working. This is how it works: First the child chooses a toy which he wants to scan. Then he puts it on the table and pushes it through the opening of the scanner. The tag in the animals activates the TV-screen and tells the children how the scanner works and why the exam is necessary. They can also see the “insides” of the animals, clarifying the scanner’s purpose. When using the KittenScanner, the children’s attention is more focused on having fun and less worrying about what’s going to happen. “An example – The elephant is diagnosed as having a problem because it drank some water with fish in it, which are still swimming around in its tummy.” (2)


“The Philips team started with observing how children behave in hospitals. They learned that waiting to be scanned was often more stressful than the procedure itself. Subsequent interviews with psychologists specializing in pediatrics put an even finer point on their understanding of children’s emotions and reactions in medical environments. By the time they finished their research, they had come to a fundamental realization: what really makes young patients anxious about going to the hospital isn’t going to the hospital, it’s fear of the unknown. Working together, researchers, designers and technologists set out to create an engaging and interesting way for children to learn about their scanning procedure. Central to the solution is young patients’ own natural curiosity. By creating a device that captures their interest and compels them to learn more, we could not only distract them from the wait, but also use the power of information to help alleviate their fear.” (3)`


I know, out of my own experience, that it is very scary for children to go to the hospital. But what is even more scarier for children, is lying still underneath a machine that turns around you and makes a lot of noses. What inspired me is that the designed for children, not only for their pleasure, but to change the feelings of the children in places where it is necessary. They didn’t designed it because it looks nice. They designed it to make the children feel more at ease in a hospital. So their experience will be different the next time they have to come to a hospital.


“It is not frightening. It is not sterile and cold, and threatening, in the way machines can be.”(4) Winner of:

  • Red Dot Best of the Best 2009
  • iF 2009 Product Design
  • Bronze IDEA Award 2009



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This course is held at NABA: Nuova Accademia di belle arti by Chiara Gambarana and Liat Rogel

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 34 other followers

%d bloggers like this: