According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) one in ten babies are born too early. No parent wants their newborn in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, commonly known as NICU, but for some, there is no other recourse. Premature babies and at-risk newborns can be in a NICU for days or even weeks at a time, which is a considerable strain on a family that has to juggle between work and other obligations.
A simple, elegantly implemented technology is making the parents of newborns at South Miami Hospital have a lot more peace of mind and be able to bond better with their fragile newborns. They can now watch their babies anytime day or night using the NICVIEW, a site linked to a camera installed pointing at their individual baby’s incubator. The family can keep track of their newborn from any device with internet access and from any location. Parents, siblings and even relatives that live far away can login and monitor the baby’s progress.
It’s important for parents to bond with their preemie but the reality is that it’s almost impossible to spend all available hours by their hospital bedside for extended periods. It also makes it easier for mothers and fathers to be able to go home and rest while keeping an eye out on their precious little ones.
There are obvious privacy concerns that have been addressed, for example, all the transmissions are encrypted, and password protected for designated users that are specified by the NICU staff only and there are no images recorded or stored by the system.
The technology is tried, true and incredibly simple to implement for hospitals. The cameras use very little bandwidth to stream the live video, they have a minimal footprint and are easy to incorporate as part of the neonatal unit workflow. A seemingly small human touch that makes a huge difference for parents of babies in these critical care units. Definitely a Win-Win.