How video tech can help parents of babies in intensive care
The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow is using personalised video technology to help parents stay connected with their babies.
The state-of-the-art hospital, which opened its doors in 2015, has the largest neo-natal intensive care unit in Scotland.
Often parents of the babies being cared for there live a considerable distance from the hospital, have to work and care for other members of their family.
Consultant neonatologist Neil Patel spent time researching to try and identify how technology might help.
“The idea originally came from a parent of one of our patients. He uses personalised video in his work to connect with clients and asked if we could send him video updates of his own baby,” he said.
“We then asked more families who all told us there is nothing more reassuring than actually seeing their baby. They thought video was a brilliant way of keeping them up to date with non-clinically sensitive updates when they were away from the hospital.
“Having researched the video technology available to us, we felt that vCreate ticked all the boxes. It's a personalised video platform that makes it quick and simple to create a video which can then be securely accessed by the baby's parents on any device at any time.
“When we spoke to vCreate and told them what we wanted to achieve, they were keen to help. We worked together to initiate a pilot programme to assess its impact."
It was also critical that videos could only be accessed by the baby's parents, which is another reason why vCreate was chosen.
Ben Moore, vCreate founder, explains: "We have an optional feature on the platform which ensures that all videos are published internally behind our secure firewall and are therefore only accessible by approved viewers.
“Parents are given a vCreate Viewer Licence that allows access to videos of their own child only. As more videos are created a story is formed of the child's road to recovery. The parents can then take the videos with them when the child leaves the unit as a memento.
“The videos are then permanently deleted from the system in line with data protection policy. Although it may sound complex, from both staff and parents' point of view, it's really simple to use."
The clinical staff from the unit can also measure the response rate by seeing which parents are watching the videos and for how long and these are some of the key measures, along with parents' feedback, which will determine the success of the pilot.