Valley Hospital "virtual visits"

Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Being apart from your newborn while he or she is cared for the in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be heart-wrenching. To make the separation a little bit easier, The Valley Hospital’s NICU has launched a service that allows parents and extended family to conduct “virtual visits” with their little ones via webcam on any computer. Called “Peek-A-Boo I.C.U.” the service is believed to be the first of its kind in Bergen County.

“We have mothers who are ill for various reasons and can't come to the NICU to see their babies. We also have parents who have to get back to work, and can’t come to the NICU every day. So to be able to log on to the computer and watch their baby has really been wonderful for them," said Frank Manginello, M.D., Director of Neonatology at Valley.

To access the system, parents need only a computer connected to the internet. “Visits” are conducted by appointment with the NICU staff. Using a webcam positioned near the infant in Valley’s NICU, live video of the baby is streamed to the off-site computer. Sessions are limited to approximately 5 minutes.

“Peek-A-Boo I.C.U.” was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Marron-Manginello Neonatal Endowment Fund. There is no charge for the service.