Effective MRI is crucial to accurate medical diagnosis – which is why proper training of Medical Imaging Technologists and Technicians is incredibly important. Fortunately, MRI simulator software has proven to be an effective and efficient solution for education and skill development.
Below, learn all about MRI simulators, their benefits, and how to watch a free guided demo if you’re a student, technologist, educator, or manager.
What is an MRI simulator?
MRI simulators recreate – in whole or in part – the environment and experience of an MRI scanner. Specifically, an MRI scan simulator uses software that replicates the programs that control MRI machines and generate diagnostic imagery.
Simulators may also be connected to “mock” MRI hardware that recreates what happens during actual prep and scanning. Mock machines are often used to prepare a patient for the MRI process to improve actual scan outcomes rather than for training, as they present limitations of availability.
What are the benefits of MRI simulators?
MRI simulators offer a number of benefits for students, technologists, and technicians, as well as the universities and organizations that train and employ them. Here are some of the biggest advantages of MRI simulator technology like ScanLabMR.
1. Unlimited practice anytime, anywhere
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that MRI simulator software gives much more freedom to learners in when and where they train. The best MRI simulator solutions (like ScanLabMR) use online browser-based programs so users can practice at any time or place without the scheduling and cost requirements of booking an actual MRI machine. By using an MRI simulator for students’ education, these technologists in training can get unlimited practice at their convenience and from the comfort of their laptops or smart devices.
2. Safe, low-stress learning
With an MRI simulator download, students can practice and test their skills without risk to patients or themselves. The low-stress, risk-free environment allows for better cognitive processing and retention.
3. Full training experience
The more advanced virtual MRI simulator solutions aim to recreate the entire experience of using an MRI scanner. In other words, the virtual training experience directly corresponds to real-world expectations before, during, and after a scanning session.
With ScanLabMR, for example, users walk through a full safety check before entering scanning mode. This teaches practitioners how to follow critical safety procedures, allowing room for mistakes – but without endangering a patient. Learners can then practice the entire scanning process, including comparing slice results with prescriptions and using previous slices to inform future prescription and angulation. Learners can freely experiment while getting quick, accurate results for their chosen parameters.
4. Real-time quantitative assessment and feedback
While modern MRI simulators will recreate MRI scanning, ScanLabMR takes it one step further. ScanLabMR is unlike any other simulator available because it offers quantitative assessment and objective scoring, so users and their instructors can measure learning progress and quickly spot areas that need more work. Assessments are also helpful for managers at radiology facilities so they can monitor their staff’s knowledge and improve the overall quality assurance of their department.
5. Accommodation of learners’ diverse needs
Many MRI simulation programs can easily switch languages and accessibility settings between users on the same license. This means:
- Educators and training programs can expand their pool of potential students
- Prospective employers can easily assess multilingual candidates
- Medical Imaging Technologists can test and improve their own skills without needing to enroll in formal training or being affiliated with an MRI facility
6. Standardization of MRI education
While some technologists enter the field via an undergraduate degree in MRI, many others first qualify as radiographers before learning MRI experientially. The current lack of standardization of MRI education – as highlighted in this 2017 literature review – can lead to varying levels of knowledge and potential adverse outcomes for patients.
High-quality simulator software provides an identical training environment and assessment standards that are based on the most up-to-date criteria and guidelines in the industry. This means that knowledge can be transferred, tested, and demonstrated in a consistent manner.
7. Improved outcomes for comprehension and retention
This is just an abbreviated list of all the benefits effective MRI simulators can provide to users, from undergraduates to professional training to staffing. With a comprehensive, flexible learning environment and clear standards for mastery of material, these programs make it easier for practitioners, instructors, and administrators to ensure the highest quality of education and training.
What types of MRI simulators are available?
As mentioned above, MRI simulators generally fall into two categories: entirely software or mock MRI machines. Since mock machines present availability challenges for training, many practitioners find comprehensive software solutions more practical and helpful. In addition, recent updates in MRI simulation software technology allow for more flexible, realistic, and thorough training.
However, not all MRI simulator software offer the same benefits. ScanLabMR provides the most advanced MRI simulation experience on the market and was specifically designed with tools for educators and managers, such as:
- Quantitative assessments in which educators and managers can assign their students and technologists MRI scans and clinical situations, and then view an evaluation score out of 100 that’s benchmarked against an established standard of excellence.
- Specialized and clinically validated hiring assessments so that managers can evaluate potential employment candidates and get a glimpse into an applicant’s clinical skill that cannot be known from a resume alone. In addition, educators can provide students with evaluations to bring to prospective employers to demonstrate mastery of material, improving job placement potential.
Learn more about MRI simulator software
Here are some frequently asked questions about MRI simulator software:
How can I download an MRI simulator? ScanLabMR offers both individual licenses for students and technologists as well as group licenses for educators and managers. Once you have a license, you can log in to utilize our simulation software.
Can I watch an MRI simulator demo? Yes, students, technologists, educators, and managers can either attend a monthly virtual Open Demo (see our social media for upcoming dates) or request a private guided demo.
Is ScanLabMR an MRI simulator for students? Yes, ScanLabMR offers individual licenses for students and technologists and group licenses for educators and managers.
What’s the cost of an MRI simulator? The cost of an MRI simulator depends on the license type (individual or group) and the number of licenses purchased if it is a group. To get a personalized quote, request a guided demo.