Grady using webcam technology to connect families with children in NICU

Grady became the first hospital in Atlanta to install little cameras called NicView next to the beds in its NICU.

ATLANTA - Tasha Banks gave birth to her second child on November 5. Tasha's little Zoë was born early at 26 weeks.

Since being born, Zoë's favorite activity has been sleeping.

"Now will you do that when we go home?," Tasha asked Zoe. 

On Wednesday Zoë weighed 5 pounds and 13 ounces. But back on November 5, she weighed just 1 pound and 5 ounces, leading to an ongoing stay in Grady Memorial Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

"Over four months I've been here with her," Tasha said. "Every single day. Everyday." 

During the beginning of Zoë's stay in the NICU, Tasha would worry about her daughter when going home at night. She also found herself making plenty of phone calls when away from the NICU. 

"Calling the nurses, 'Is she okay? How is she doing? What is she doing? Alright, okay, she is okay? She is upset, she is awake, do I need to come up there?'," Tasha recalled.

In late February though Grady became the first hospital in Atlanta to install little cameras called NicView next to the beds in its NICU.

Parents are given a secure log-in for their child's camera and then can watch 24 hours a day from a smartphone or other device with an Internet connection.

"I check it all the time, every hour on the hour," Tasha said. "I can't help it."

Grady NICU director Jacqueline Jackson said NicView cameras have led to her staff answering fewer phone calls when parents leave the NICU for a period of time, giving nurses more time to care for the unit's patients.

But more importantly, the cameras are bringing relief to families.

"They're very curious and anxious about what has changed on their baby. Being able to see their baby on the NicView camera system, it eliminates all of that."

Nurses are even able to share short messages with families through the video streaming program.

"The nurses can let you know Zoë took all of her feeds just well. She is having a great night. Just changed her diaper. The last one was hi to all my friends and family that are checking on me," Tasha said. 

She also shared her log-in for NicView with Zoë's grandparents so they can keep an eye on her too, as they don't live in Atlanta.

"For them to be able to see her every single day, all the time is phenomenal. They absolutely love it," Tasha said.

Currently 12 cameras have been installed in Grady's NICU. Staff hope to expand the use of NicView cameras to all 37 beds in the unit.  

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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