ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — New technology is helping to connect parents with their newborns who are hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Carilion Clinic.
Carilion Clinic implemented restricted visitation policies to help combat the spread of COVID. This policy also impacted many families with infants in the NICU. Although staff helped connect families with their babies with one-way videos, pictures, and text messages, some families wanted to observe their babies in real-time.
AngelEye Camera System stepped in to help by providing a secure live streaming feed that allows parents and families to view their babies 24 hours. Staff will also be able to put a “baby away” sign that allows staff to attend to patient care activities.
“We can’t imagine how hard it must be for a parent to leave their child in the care of complete strangers,” said Tiara Smolinsk, unit director for the NICU. “Our hope is that AngelEye not only promotes bonding and provides comfort and reassurance but also reduces stress and anxiety for families when they can’t be here.”
Parents can view their baby’s progress on their phone, computer, or tablet, by using an easy-to-access app on the One-way Patient Update tool. Each camera is placed at the bedside to capture your baby’s progress and parents can capture those precious moments through text, photo, or recorded video. Parents can also share these moments with loved ones who can’t visit or live farther away.
“This program was 100% funded through generous donations,” said Smolinski. “We are so appreciative of that support and have already seen the difference that it has made for our NICU families.”
The cameras went live in late October.