Parents look over their NICU newborn via webcam on their phone

Parents Get a NICView of Their Baby

New technology installed in the NorthBay Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in March 2017 has given parents of the tiniest patients a connection to their babies – even when they couldn't be at the bedside 24/7.

NICView webcams installed on isolettes send live video streams to parents. The images are streamed without sound through a secure online portal that connects directly to a smartphone, laptop, tablet or computer.

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After signing a consent form, parents are given log-in credentials they may choose to share with other family members or friends both near and far.

The Rico family was one of the first to use NICView.

At 29 weeks, Evelyn Rico's water broke and she was put on bed rest in the maternity unit down the hall, but then unexpectedly went into labor, which sent the newborn to the NICU.

With her son, Ronin, expected to be in the NICU for an extended time, Evelyn and her husband Justin — both active duty personnel stationed at Travis Air Force Base — had to juggle staying connected with Ronin and his nurses while holding down jobs and caring for Ronin's three siblings and Evelyn's 74-year-old mother.

“Every family dreams of taking their baby home from the hospital, and when a baby requires the advanced care of a NICU, there is a sense of loss,” said Katie Lydon, director of Women and Children's Services. “But with the NICView, our families can feel connected to their babies and their care team, even when they are at home getting much-needed rest or taking care of other family members.”