iPads bring mothers, infants closer together in neonatal ICU

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Los Angeles has put in place a program that allows mothers to visit with their infants and the medical team over a secured Internet connection using iPads, according to an announcement from the hospital.

Called BabyTime, the program is designed to reduce fear and stress in an estimated 20 to 30 percent of mothers who undergo cesarean sections who are not well enough to travel from their bed in the labor and delivery unit to the NICU for the first 24 to 48 hours. When an infant is admitted to the NICU, an iPad is immediately set up next to the incubator while a second iPad is delivered to the new mother, who can log onto BabyTime twice daily.

"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, in a written statement. "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."

To distract kids from painful medical procedures and to make the environment less scary, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. recently announced that their pediatric emergency department at Stanford Hospital & Clinics has added iPads with pre-loaded apps for movies, music, games and books to their treatment rooms.

To learn more:
-read the hospital's announcement