St. George hospital installs NICU cameras to allow parents of preemies to take babies home virtually

ST. GEORGE — After Morgan Rowley’s baby was born about 11 weeks premature, she and her family faced one of the tougher challenges those whose children are born prematurely face: walking out of the hospital without their baby.

A baby is looked over by both a caregiver and a special camera system in this undated photo in the neonatal intensive care unit at Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah | Photo courtesy Intermountain Health, St. George News

But a new addition to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. George Regional Hospital means Rowley and other families can still see their babies after they go home. The hospital has added a camera system that allows parents and families to see their children in the NICU whenever they want.

“We logged on the first morning and got to see her which gave us great peace of mind,” Rowley said in a statement provided by the hospital and Intermountain Health. “I’ve had some mother’s guilt for not being with her at all times, so it’s great to see her.”

The AngelEye camera system is small and unintrusive sitting above the baby’s incubator or enclosure. It has night vision and sends a continuous livestream to an app the family can download to watch on any electronic device.

Caregivers can move the camera depending on what the baby is doing. Families decide who else can have access.

Undated close-up of the AngelEye camera system for neonatal intensive care units at hospitals | Photo courtesy Intermountain Health, St. George News

The system has been in use at Primary Children’s Hospital and is now being expanded to NICUs at other Intermountain hospitals. The one at St. George launched last month.

The director of the NICU at St. George Regional said the system is providing a positive boost to families in a stressful time.

“Having a child in the NICU is hard enough for parents so being able to look at your phone and see your baby can be comforting,” Dr. Jonathan McCully Rowley said in the news release. “It gives families reassurance when they’re away from the hospital and can’t always be there.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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