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Stollery adds 24/7 web cameras to connect parents to babies in NICU

Health Matters: Oct. 29
WATCH ABOVE: As Su-Ling Goh explains, the NICU at the Stollery Children's Hospital has added webcams to allow parents to check in on their babies at any time of day. Also in Health Matters, Canadians get a D grade for their activity levels, and the YEG Stair Climb raises money for the United Way.

The Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton has added some new technology meant to help parents stay closer to newborns who are admitted to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

The NICView cameras allow families to catch a view of their baby from any device with internet access.

“I believe peace of mind is immeasurable at this point, between before the cameras and now,” said Barbara Henderson, a clinical nurse educator at the Stollery NICU.

“Parents love it.”

The camera program was launched around the end of May, and hospital staff say they’ve already seen a hugely positive response from parents.

Tom Clapperton is a new father to two newborn boys, and had the opportunity to be one of the first families to use the cameras after his sons were born over two months early in August.

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While his one baby, Joshua, is now at home, his other son, Ethan, is still admitted at the NICU.

“Whenever we get a little nervous or we just want to do a quick check, we can just turn to our phones and in a few seconds just get a live image of how he’s doing,” Clapperton said.

“I can’t even imagine how it would be to not have this.”

New parent Tom Clapperton, holding baby Ethan, says that the NICView cameras have been a huge comfort to him and his family.
New parent Tom Clapperton, holding baby Ethan, says that the NICView cameras have been a huge comfort to him and his family. Global News

A similar pilot program was launched at the Misericordia Community Hospital in May of this year.

READ MORE: Edmonton hospital uses iPads to keep parents and babies close in NICU

For the program at the Stollery, parents are given a unique username and password for their baby, which they can share with friends and family anywhere in the world.

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“My parents are in the U.K., so it means even through they’re very far away, they can kind of feel a bit more connected,” Clapperton said.

“It’s not quite the same of being there, but it’s pretty close,” he said.

The NICView cameras were added to the Stollery in late May 2019.
The NICView cameras were added to the Stollery in late May 2019. Global News

Multiple people can be logged into the feed watching the baby at one time.

The nurses at the unit say they’ve seen a decrease in parents calling to check in on their babies since the program launched.

“Overall this is an amazing piece of technology that brings families together,” Henderson said.