Baby Watch Allows for Virtual Visits Anytime, Anywhere
A healthy baby is something everyone hopes for, but we can’t plan for everything. Babies that are born premature or that are born with various medical conditions are taken to a special place in the hospital called the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. BayCare has NICUs at Mease Countryside Hospital, Morton Plant Hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. Each is staffed with highly trained physicians and nurses that provide high quality care 24/7. Parents are a very important part of the care team, but parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors and friends are not always able to be at the beside.
Babies can be in the NICU for months before they can go home and family members can’t always get to the hospital to visit the baby. Thanks to NICU Baby Watch visiting hours are now available when you are. Now the whole family can see the new baby right from a computer, tablet or mobile device. Baby Watch is currently being rolled out at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital.
How It Works
Using an encrypted meeting application and our NICU iPads, Baby Watch offers scheduled real-time webcam viewing of the baby. Request a real-time viewing appointment with a nurse and provide your personal email account. This connection is electronically secure and no video recording or information is stored.
At the scheduled date and time, an iPad is mounted on a pole and placed at the baby’s bedside. Parents will open up the meeting invite sent to their email and click on the “Join Meeting” link. The baby will be seen on the screen in real time. Staff members are available via phone to describe anything parents might see during their virtual visit. A typical session lasts about 30 minutes, but multiple sessions can be set up on the same day.
While webcams don’t take the place of actually being there, it allows the baby to be connected to friends and family. It also allows family members who are too young or too far away to see the newest member of the family. The first encounters with this new little life shouldn’t be skewed by distance or time. Baby Watch is the closest thing to being there without being there.