New live streaming service gives parents, loved ones 24/7 video access to infants in NICU

AmNews Staff Reports | 10/1/2020, midnight
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan today announced the launch of a live streaming service, NicView, that allows parents, family and friends ...
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NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan today announced the launch of a live streaming service, NicView, that allows parents, family and friends 24/7 video access to infants in the NICU, Mother-Baby and Labor units. Utilizing a secure image stream, parents who opt-in to the service will have a small camera system placed at their preemie or hospitalized infant’s bed space. The livestream of the newborn can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection on a laptop, phone or tablet by visiting NicView.net, and requires a personalized username and passcode that the parents share with family and friends. The new service, which does not come at additional charge to patients, provides peace of mind to a parent who’s been discharged but has a newborn who requires a longer hospital stay, and connects loved ones who might not be able to physically visit the hospital due to COVID-19 visitation limitations and safety precautions, travel restrictions or other personal barriers.

“We are excited to add NicView to the array of services available to parents and their new babies at Metropolitan,” said Christopher Roker, CEO at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “Our nursing staff and all of the members of our health care teams are always looking for new and innovative ways to provide the very best care experience for our most precious patients. This new technology helps us overcome some of the barriers to access that parents and families face.”

“NicView allows our parents to be connected to their babies and to share this happy life event locally and globally,” said Dr. Noreen Brennan, chief nursing officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “The livestream provides a tremendous support and ease of mind for parents who can’t be in the hospital with their babies. They can also share the joy of a new birth with their family members who cannot travel or visit the hospital, especially during these challenging times.”

“Having the ability for family to remotely view their newborn can be as important as the medications we prescribe,” added Dr. John T. Pellicone, chief medical officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “This is a wonderful adjunct to the wellbeing of the newborn child.”

“Our goal is to always provide the best care for our newest patients and their families,” said Mary Carty, director of nursing for Obstetrics and Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “I have watched moms stress themselves out traveling from different boroughs to be at the hospital with their newborn while taking care of other children at home. The cameras help promote healing for the mother, allowing her to video stream her baby as she focuses on her own recovery.”

Once logged in using the designated link and personalized username and passcode that the parents share, video of the baby will begin to livestream. If the nurse or physician is caring for the baby, then the camera will be temporarily “offline.” This video stream does not transmit sound or allow for recording. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world depending on the connection.

“I was discharged a few days before my baby was ready to go home, but with NicView I was able to continue bonding with her in those early days,” said Ilona Bito, a new mother who participated in the soft launch with her baby, Bear Bito McConnell. “I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. I watched her when I was going to bed, as I was pumping, and all throughout the day. I shared the login information with my mother in Seattle, who told me she was addicted. She spent hours during her meetings sneaking peeks at her new grandchild. We’re so happy to be able to connect this way.”

“I am grateful to NYC Health + Hospitals for providing this important service, allowing parents the opportunity to remain connected to their newborn during such a critical time in their lives,” said Councilmember Diana Ayala. “Despite the many limitations and restrictions during this pandemic, I hope this provides some comfort to the new parents and families.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan currently has the capacity to provide the live streaming service to 25 infants and their families in the NICU, Mother-Baby and Labor units. The hospital’s auxiliary fully funded the $67,000 cost of the project.