Cameras in neonatal intensive care units are helping some families check on their babies progress from afar.
The technology has been around for a while and is becoming increasingly popular. This week, York Hospital got added to the list of Midstate medical centers that offer the service.
It hasn’t been an easy road for Felicity Gettys and her newborn
“I see my daughter’s head just shaking back and forth,” said Gettys, who is from York.
Two-day-old Kaleyanie Gettys went straight to the NICU, where she has been for over a week. First-time-mom Felicity was discharged, but Kaleyanie has to be watched.
“I was scared to leave her at first, but the camera really helps my anxiety. It makes it a lot better,” said Gettys.
That camera system is called Angel Eye. It became available to families at the York Hospital NICU this week. Among lots of medical equipment, small cameras are hooked up to all of the beds.
“They’re on 24 hours a day. The only time they are off is when the nurse is doing care with the baby,” said NICU Assistant Nurse Manager Beth Schwartz.
Families can log on to their accounts on their phones, computers or tablets to see their babies.
“I love this app,” said Gettys.
Babies can be in the NICU for months at a time.
Schwartz says because York Hospital is a regional transport center, the unit treats babies who come from an hour and a half away. She says using technology makes parents feel closer to their newborns.
“They don’t have to worry about maybe being here every day,” said Schwartz. “If they have other children at home, they can a day off from coming, because it’s a struggle for families when they’re a distance away.”
The hospital staff says Kaleyanie is getting stronger. They hope she can go home Saturday.
“All I could do was be on the app. I was watching her 24/7. Her every little movement she was doing,” said Gettys.
UPMC Pinnacle uses a system called NicView, and hospital officials say about 70 percent of parents use it.