Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has debuted (via TUAW) a new iPad program that allows mothers who are not able to visit with their newborn babies in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to connect with them via a video chat on multiple iPads, dubbed BabyTime.
The program is available to mothers who undergo cesarean sections or other complications during pregnancy and will receive an iPad while the partner iPad will be set up next to the baby's incubator in the NICU. Mothers will be able to virtually visit their babies on a secured Internet connection twice a day.
"BabyTime will help bridge communication with the family and the baby's medical team and is an excellent use of technology to help new mothers bond with their babies, even when they cannot be physically at their babies' bedside," said Charles F. Simmons Jr., MD, chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Pediatrics and Ruth and Harry Roman Chair in Neonatology. “When doctors and nurses are treating a newborn in the NICU, mom can be right there asking questions and getting updates, even if she’s on a different floor.”
Simmons estimated that 20 to 30 percent of mothers who undergo c-sections do not feel well enough to travel to meet their babies in the NICU. The goal of the program is to reduce any stress or fear that mothers may have about their new babies, while allowing the mothers to communicate with doctors and nurses.