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Many babies born in the United States need care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) each year for a variety of reasons. As a parent or family member, it can be difficult to leave an infant in the NICU, even when faced with important obligations outside the hospital.

St. David’s Medical Center is the first hospital in Central Texas to adopt a video-only webcam system in the NICU that allows families to see their infant, even from miles away. This new system, called NICVIEW, gives NICU parents peace of mind when they can’t be at the hospital by allowing them to see live images of their baby on an internet-accessible device. NICU families whose babies were evacuated from Houston-area hospitals to St. David’s Medical Center during Hurricane Harvey were the first to use this technology.

“Parents often struggle when outside obligations, such as work or caring for other small children at home, pull them away from the NICU,” Rhonda Reed, director of the NICU at St. David’s Medical Center, said. “Having the option to make a ‘virtual visit’ to the child’s bedside at any time eases families’ concerns and enables them to bond with their newborn.”

Only an infant’s parents have access to unique usernames and passwords to see the live stream of their baby. Parents have the option to share with other family members near or far.

Photo courtesy of Natus Medical Incorporated

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