'Angel Eyes' technology allows overseas military parents to observe newborns from NICU
Having an infant in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is obviously a very stressful time for a family. While the medical staff is caring for the baby, the family can only stand aside and watch -- and sometimes, family members cannot be present at all. Fortunately, hospitals are employing new technology that lessens the heartache of separation.
When Staff Sergeant Sam Last's daughter Charlie was born last month, he was away on military deployment. Her premature birth necessitated a stay in the NICU, but Last watched over his daughter via Angel Eye, a video system installed at the University of Kansas Hospital. The system relays constant, real-time video through a secure internet connection that parents can access via any mobile device. "It gives the families the ability to see their baby at any time, and gives them that reassurance ... that they're okay," NICU nurse Laurie Hay told 41 Action News.
The Angel Eye system was developed ten years ago by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and can also be used for doctors to record and upload their routine examinations of the babies. The system at KU Hospital uses 21 cameras and was purchased with the help of a grant from Royals Charities.
"It's hard to believe that I'm looking at my daughter [from] 7,000 miles away in Kuwait, just watching her moving," Last said. "It can't get any better. I absolutely love it."