Doctors and nurses work around-the-clock at South Miami Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to care for premature and at-risk newborns. Of course, it’s also an anxious time for the new parents, whose newborns could end up staying at the NICU for several weeks.
However, the donation of 62 crib-side cameras for every bed at the hospital’s NICU has soothed the nerves of concerned moms and dads. The NicView camera captures streaming images of each baby in real-time. Parents can log in from their smartphones or computers from home, the office or anywhere and receive those images. The new technology is relatively new to U.S. NICUs, and South Miami Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the region to set them up.
“It’s on 24 hours a day and it’s only turned off when there’s a ‘touch time’ between the baby and a nurse or physician,” says Jorge Perez, M.D.,  medical director, South Miami Hospital NICU . “From the parent’s side, it’s a password-protected, web-based application. So they can see their child from anywhere around the world.”
(Watch as the Baptist Health News Team hears from new parents Ana and Eric Glass, and Jorge Perez, M.D., medical director, South Miami Hospital NICU, about the NicView photo-streaming system. Video by George Carvalho.)
New mom, Ana Glass (pictured above with her husband), frequently checks in on her son, Cash, via the NicView’s online application. He is doing well after spending more than two months at the NICU.
“Before the camera, I used to call the nurses all the time just to see what was going on,” says Ms. Glass. “If I log in and it says, ‘the nurse is caring for your baby,’ then I know it’s ‘touch time’ and I get less anxious, even if I see him for a couple of seconds.”
Eric Glass says checking up on his son through the NicView is a benefit for the nurses.
“I think it has saved the nurses since we’re not calling them every 30 minutes,” says Mr. Glass. “But it really does make a difference. Speaking to someone on the phone is really great, but being able to pull out your phone and take a look at him, that makes all the difference.”
The NicView camera system at South Miami Hospital was made possible by donations through the Baptist Health South Florida Foundation.
“This has been all supported by philanthropy,” says Dr. Perez. “Through the Baptist Health South Florida Foundation, we were able to purchase 62 cameras. So every baby in our intensive care unit has his or her own camera.”