Anxiety, begone! Anxious MRI Patients Comforted by New Technology

Engineers used insights from the fields of psychology and aesthetics to build “comfort technology” into Providence Imaging Center’s newest magnet.Chad Hicks, MRI supervisor at Providence Imaging Center in Anchorage, loves hearing how patients benefit from comfort technology built into the new Optima 450W MRI scanner.

According to, some investigations indicate that as many as 20% of the individuals attempting to undergo MR procedures can’t complete the exams secondary to serious distress such as claustrophobia or other unwanted sensations.

Providence Imaging Center installed a new wide bore scanner that combats claustrophobia and humanizes the sometimes uncomfortable exam. The newest and most technologically advanced 1.5 Tesla MRI in the state of Alaska offers unparalleled imaging quality in a high field magnet, while putting patients’ comfort at the forefront:

  • More space: the wide bore magnet, 70 cm wide (around 28 inches), accommodates patients up to 500 lbs. **. The larger opening feels less restrictive and is illuminated with bright and friendly LED lights.
  • Exam times are reduced through fewer coil exchanges (coils surround the anatomy that is being scanned).
  • Comfortable variable density padding minimizes pressure points.
  • Silent scan technology can be turned on, which reduces decibels and allows for better communication with the technologist. Less noise often translates to reduced patient anxiety.

** MRI breast patients have a weight limit of 420 lbs.

No medical tProvidence Imaging Center's new GE Optima 450W MRI scanner, installed January 2016.echnology alone can promise to deliver the perfect exam. Many important factors contribute to good quality images and a positive patient experience.

Sometimes a reassuring family member in the room makes the difference. In other instances, a medication can be prescribed to relax someone who is anxious.

More New Technology for MRI Patients

Our 3 Tesla scanner – the only magnet of its kind in Anchorage, and twice as strong as most machines in the state – recently underwent a hardware and software upgrade. These improvements give specialists the ability to view exceptional images like never before.

Many specialists insist their patients be scanned on a 3 Tesla magnet. Why? Double the field strength means double the signal, ensuring better image quality than even the best 1.5 Tesla MRI. MRI with 3 Tesla power provides excellent neurological and musculoskeletal evaluations. Additionally, no other Anchorage imaging center offers the following specialty examinations at this field strength:

  • Prostate screening
  • Rectal cancer screening
  • Spectroscopy
  • Perfusion

Convenient hours and Saturday appointments enable us to get patients in sooner, with results arriving to your office immediately upon the radiologist’s dictation and electronic signoff.

Not sure if your patient would benefit from Providence Imaging Center’s newest MRI technology? Want to learn more? Our technologists and radiologists are delighted to chat with you.

Reach us at (907) 212-5609 (techs) or (907) 212-3182 (radiologist).

Schedulers can be reached at (907) 212-3146 or (888) 458-3151 toll-free.