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Gurgle and Squeak! You're on My Baby View Camera

Premature babies at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital connect with families via video.
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Baby Erin and the My Baby View camera

Baby Erin and the My Baby View camera /Hughes family

Will Hughes

Will Hughes /Hughes family

Born at 25 weeks, little Erin and Will Hughes will probably grow up always hearing stories of how technology brought them through the first months of their lives. The premature twins were born just one week after Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital opened in January. During their stay, which recently ended, the Hughes family was able to share real-time video of the twins from their bassinets at the hospital with My Baby View. The camera system and web technology was provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Out State Michigan. There are six units available in the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Unit at the hospital. The camera looks like a giant eye on a mobile white post.

Parents Julie and Mark Hughes found many uses for the camera system. “It is probably intended for families who can’t be at the hospital all the time, but I’m able to be here,” said Julie Hughes, who took a leave from her teaching position to be with them at the hospital. “We’ve used it so the twins could meet extended family members in Chicago and the Upper Peninsula,” said Hughes. “We were going to Detroit for a baby shower that my mom and sister were giving and our nurse mentioned the My Baby View camera. We set up a laptop at the shower so everyone there could see Erin, who slept, and Will, who was wide awake,” said Hughes. “It was a great way for people to see them in real time,” she added.

The secure system is password-protected and isn’t streamed online except to specific users. Passwords are emailed to the user with log-in details.

Premature babies have an average hospital stay of 27 days, and not all parents are able to be at the hospital 12 hours a day as Hughes was. The camera system allows parents to connect with their baby when a hospital visit isn’t possible or overnight when worries about the tiny babies need to be alleviated.

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