FEB. 14, 2006 | UAMS Medical Center has become the first hospital in the state to put Web-based video cameras in its Critical Care Nursery, where newborn infants can be viewed from anywhere parents have Internet access.
Called ANGEL Eye, the pilot program will assign five cameras to infants in the Critical Care Nursery, which is the first stop for infants weighing little more than a pound. The Critical Care Nursery has as many as 10 babies on a given day and the program plans to expand to accommodate all beds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"We are excited about adding this feature to UAMS' nationally recognized ANGELS program," said Whit Hall, M.D, medical director of the UAMS Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery. "Our mission is to reach out statewide to provide health care, and we think the parents and family members of these tiny infants will treasure this new service."
ANGELS is the Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System, a cooperative program between UAMS, the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Arkansas Medical Society to improve regional pre-natal care for high-risk pregnancies. It was created by Curtis Lowery, M.D., a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Lowery said the ANGEL Eye program eventually will become part of a research project on bonding.
"We believe the ability of a mother to see her infant, even from a computer screen 100 miles away, will help her bond with her baby, and it may improve lactation," Lowery said. "This would be an extraordinary benefit to both mother and child."
Infants will be on camera for 15 minutes twice a day seven days a week. A doctor also may choose to have the baby on camera while talking to parents by phone. Parents will be given a password to view their baby, and they can share the password with other family members.