MRsafe – Prototypical Development and Evaluation of a Mobile Application for Healthcare Professionals to Query the MR Compatibility of Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices

Stefanie Pirzl

Master Digital Healthcare, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences 2023

Aim and Research Question(s)

Development and evaluation of a prototypical app to help healthcare professionals find the necessary MRI safety information on cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), so that MRI examinations can be performed safely on patients with CIEDs. RQ 1: What kind of information from cardiac implantable electronic devices is necessary to ensure a safe MRI examination? RQ 2: What are the functional and technical requirements for the mobile application to support healthcare professionals in determining the MR compatibility of cardiac implantable electronic devices? RQ 3: What are the task completion rate and task time as usability metrics when testing a prototypical service for assessing the MR compatibility of cardiac implantable electronic devices?


Patients with CIEDs still report difficulties in accessing MRI examinations worldwide, despite the first MR conditional pacemaker system becoming available in 2008 (EU) and 2011 (US). Reasons for this include safety concerns about patient risk [1], [2].


The method used for the prototypical development and evaluation was a user-centered design (UCD) process, a mixed method with qualitative and quantitative approaches (Figure 1). Literature research and expert interviews were conducted to identify and understand the user needs. The interviews also elicited the functional and technical requirements for the MRsafe app. After the prototypical development of the app, a quantitative usability test was performed to evaluate the usability of the app based on task completion rate (%) and task time (min).                        Figure 1: User-centered design method

Results and Discussion

hese screenshots represent the development of the MRsafe app and show the List Screen, the Scanner Screen and the Implant Screen.          Figure 2: Screenshots of the prototypical MRsafe app The usability test shows that the completion rate without using the app has a mean value with a standard deviation of 79,4% ± 32,7%, whereas with using the app a completion rate of 99.2% ± 3.2% was achieved.    Table 1: Task completion rate results from the usability test The task time for clarifying the MR compatibility of the given CIEDs without the app was in this usability test 20:00 min ± 12:55 min, while with the app it was 00:43 min ± 00:14 min.              Table 2: Task time results from the usability test


The results of this master thesis suggest that the use of an app to query the MR compatibility of CIEDs can be a good alternative to already existing sources, as an improvement in both task completion rate and task time was achieved. Further development of the prototype as well as a larger study could be aimed at.


[1] C. Pieri et al., ‘Access to MRI for patients with cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators’, Open Heart, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1–6, May 2021, doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2021-001598. [2] W. Korutz et al., ‘Pacemakers in MRI for the Neuroradiologist’, AJNR Am J Neuroradiol, vol. 38, no. 12, pp. 2222–2230, Dec. 2017, doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A5314.