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Monitoring NICU Babies Just Got Easier for Parents

Photograph by Twenty20

Each year, nearly 15 million babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. Approximately 1 million of those children die due to complications, while those who survive are at a higher risk for disability. To make matters worse, many parents with children in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are told to wait—days, weeks or even longer—before holding or even touching their child.

These are some of the heartbreaking realities that NICU parents face every day while finding time to juggle careers, relationships and other responsibilities. Sound challenging? It is—and one company wants to ease some of that pressure.

Angel Eye Camera, founded in 2013, is a system that allows parents and families to see and interact with their baby in the NICU via live video streaming and direct, one-way audio.

The company, now partnered with 40 hospitals across the country and growing, prides itself on transforming neonatal care by installing a camera at Baby's bedside with links to a secure network that parents can tap into from their laptops, tablets or smartphones—anytime they want.

Let’s face it, after a NICU nurse was recently suspended for allegedly injuring babies in Wisconsin, 24-hour real-time peace of mind is almost a necessity. But the system isn’t only for parents. It’s designed for other family members, too—the ones who aren’t allowed in the room when babies might need them most.

After a NICU nurse was recently suspended for allegedly injuring babies in Wisconsin, 24-hour real-time peace of mind is almost a necessity.

In a post on the company's website, a mom who recently participated in UNC Children's Hospital's new program called "Family Time" said she couldn't bring her baby boy home from the hospital during the holidays.

"He was born at 26 weeks gestation, so it was a pretty scary time for us," the mother, Gina Turner, wrote. It was also flu season and the hospital would not allow her 3-year-old son to visit the NICU.

"They limit the age of children [visitors], so he's not even seen his baby brother yet,” she added. However, because of Angel Eye Camera, the family was able to log in each night and read bedtime stories together.

Another supporter of the company wrote, “Being able to see my baby at any time, day or night, and see him breathing, sleeping—I’m just so glad this exists.”

In addition to providing parents and family members with high-resolution 24-hour live-streaming video, access to virtual rounds, personalized educational videos and clinician records—encrypted and appropriately stored to support HIPAA compliance—the system can also be customized to include one-way audio from Mother to Baby as well as a chat feature so families can communicate in real time with nurses while viewing the baby.

What a great way to keep a close eye on Baby while bringing the family together. Welcome to the age of technology, where NICU babies are allowed to be with friends and family 24/7,­ and worried parents can rest a little easier.

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