The UAMS Medical Center and Angel Eye Camera Systems, a company established in 2013 with support from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), recently installed 40 new camera systems in the medical center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), making it the first in the state with a camera on every preemie bed.
Using the Angel Eye camera system, parents can see their baby anytime, day or night, from their mobile phone or computer. Angel Eye represents not only the latest technology, but a total rethinking of how to provide patient- and family-centered care for parents and family members who are away from their babies in the NICU.
Before the recent installation, there were web-cameras on 26 of the 64 beds in the unit. Of the 40 new cameras, 38 are for existing beds, and two additional cameras are for future use.
Gemma Grizzelle, a baby born prematurely in January, originally was assigned to a bed without the camera, her mother, Chelsea Grizzelle, said. Being moved to a bed with one was a positive change.
“When we first got the camera, it was relief,” Chelsea, a Cabot resident, said. “It was awesome that we could take care of things outside the hospital and didn’t have to worry about what was going on here. We could jump online and peek in. Angel Eye gave us great peace of mind to be able to log on and look at her. It’s the first thing we do when we wake up and the last thing we do when we go to bed.”
Chelsea’s husband and Gemma’s father, Aaron Grizzelle, was not able to visit their baby after her first week in the NICU, but he could check on her through Angel Eye.
“Most of the time, I can just take a look at her, relax and not even have to bother the nurse,” Aaron said. “We’re not interrupting them and their work. We had heard about Angel Eye, but we didn’t know what it looked like. For something as small as it is, it’s been a big, positive impact on our lives.”
From 2011 to 2017, 1,356 families and 3,351 individuals within those families used the Angel Eye Cameras in the UAMS NICU.
“With the additional web cameras in the NICU, more parents and families will be able to have a virtual presence with their baby when they are unable to be physically in the room,” said Sarah Rhoads, Ph.D., D.N.P., A.P.R.N. “These cameras allow parents and families to have a virtual presence with their hospitalized baby and it has been a landmark UAMS patient- and family-centered care initiative.”
Headquartered in Little Rock with offices in Nashville, Tennessee, Angel Eye has installed its internet-based technology in 45 hospitals across the country with several pending installations.
Angel Eye’s technology is an example of the nationally leading role played by UAMS ANGELS (Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System), a program that uses the latest connected health technology to provide long-distance care to rural Arkansas parents and their newborns.