Healthcare Technology Featured Article

August 12, 2013

New NICU Camera System Connects Families and Newborns



Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) provide critical care to infants with many different conditions. When parents have to deal with the unfortunate circumstance of having their newborn child in this environment, the stress can be overwhelming. Oftentimes parents are not allowed to touch the baby because of the risks it presents in its present condition. An option that is now available to parents and NICUs is a camera that will allow them to see the child anytime from anywhere. ANGEL EYE, an Arkansas-based healthcare technology company, has released their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Camera System, which allows family and friends access to hospitalized newborns.

The NICU Camera System provides video and audio technology so loved ones can interact with an infant in the hospital using a password-protected, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) compliant Web browser. The live feed can be accessed using computers, smartphones, tablets, and other internet-enabled devices. The first generation ANGEL EYE camera was introduced in 2006.

This platform offers families innumerable short and long-term benefits for the physical and emotional health of the baby and parents, as well as extended family. The confined environment of NICUs, lack of human interaction, and extended stay can slow the emotional development of the infant. Being able to interact with video and sound allows the baby to bond with its parents even if they are not physically present.

This technology is part of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) ANGELS (Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System) program. The program provides long-distance care to parents and new boards in rural Arkansas using the latest communication technology.

"The first generation NICU Camera System was developed for use in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in 2006. This technology represented an exciting breakthrough for parents who, due to work and other obligations, were unable to stay at the hospital while their infant was treated. The NICU Camera System was the first technology in the United States to deliver real-time video and audio features to remote families and friends of hospitalized infants,” said Steve Bethel, ANGEL EYE® President and CEO.

NICU's system is a turnkey solution for 24-hour webcam access to infants, which also provides:

  • State-of-the-art video hardware components to view infants in a high resolution setting,
  • One-way audio capability to speak to infants,
  • Custom installation of system hardware to facility’s specifications,
  • Onsite installation of system operating software,
  •  Onsite training of system software to clinical personnel,
  • Sample support and compliance documentation, and
  • End-user audit tracking reporting with client or remotely-hosted options available.

Although nothing can truly alleviate the pain parents feel about their infant being in a NICU, having the option of interacting with them whenever they want will bring some comfort to many parents.




Edited by Rich Steeves




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