The Cedars-Sinai hospital recently announced a new program dubbed “BabyTime,” which uses Apple’s iPad to help mothers stay connected to their newborns, even if they aren’t able to move after giving birth. The name is a play on Apple’s FaceTime and the idea leverages the video messaging service to create a remote presence link between a new mother’s room and the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The program allows moms who are non-ambulatory to “visit” the NICU, where babies are usually taken after a cesarean section is performed or other complications require strict monitoring. According to the chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Pediatrics, roughly 20% to 30% of mothers who undergo C-sections aren’t capable of traveling to the NICU during the first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth, an important time in mother-child bonding.
The system works by placing an iPad near a baby’s incubator while another is given to the mother. The portable video and audio platform grants a level of interaction never before possible in this setting, allowing parents to see and hear their newborn despite being several floors away. The mothers are given access to BabyTime twice a day, remotely interacting with their baby and nurses over a secured internet connection. According to Simmons:
BabyTime will help bridge communication with the family and the baby's medical team and is an excellent use of technology to help new mothers bond with their babies, even when they cannot be physically at their babies' bedside. When doctors and nurses are treating a newborn in the NICU, mom can be right there asking questions and getting updates, even if she’s on a different floor.
Source: Cedars-Sinai via TUAW