ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – New technology is helping to connect parents with their hospitalized newborns in the Carilion Clinic’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Carilion Clinic has restricted visitation policies in place to help combat the spread of COVID. This policy has also impacted many families with infants in the NICU. Although staff helped families connect with their babies with one-way videos, pictures and text messages, some families wanted to observe their babies in real time.

AngelEye Camera System has stepped in to help by providing a secure live stream that allows parents and families to see their babies around the clock. Staff will also be able to install a “baby away” sign that allows staff to participate in patient care activities.

“We can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a parent to leave their child in the care of complete strangers,” said NICU Unit Director Tiara Smolinsk. “Our hope is that AngelEye not only promotes bonding and brings comfort and reassurance, but also reduces stress and anxiety for families when they can’t be here.”

Parents can see their baby’s progress on their phone, computer or tablet, using an easy-to-access app on the one-way patient update tool. Each camera is placed at the bedside to capture your baby’s progress and parents can capture those precious moments via text, photo or recorded video. Parents can also share these moments with loved ones who cannot visit or live further away.

“This program was 100% funded through generous donations,” Smolinski said. “We so appreciate this support and have already seen the difference it has made for our families in NICU.”

The cameras went online at the end of October.

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