Hennepin Healthcare’s NICU Adds New Technology to Keep Parents Connected to Their Fragile Newborns

AngelEye Cameras watch over infants when parents can’t be in the hospital

Technology plays a critical role in keeping premature and fragile newborns. Now it’s also keeping the babies’ parents connected when they can’t be in the NICU. It’s called AngelEye Health, and Hennepin Healthcare is the first hospital to offer this in the Twin Cities.  

“Nobody wants to leave their baby behind,” says Laura Gary, RN, MSN, Nurse Manager of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Hennepin Healthcare. “But these new cameras give parents the peace-of-mind that they can check-in on their little ones whenever they want to. While it’s not the same as holding them in your arms, at this time, it may be the next best thing.”

With AngelEye’s secure, live-stream video, families can see their child’s progress 24/7 using their phone, computer, or tablet. The camera is at the bedside, capturing their every movement in real-time. The easy-to-access App also includes a One-way Patient Update tool that allows the clinical staff to send parents vital updates and precious moments through text, photo, or recorded video, further engaging parents in their infant’s care.

“Moms can share this streaming service with whomever she chooses,” explains Gary. “So if grandparents live overseas, or aunts and uncles live in other states, this platform brings them all together to see their newest family member.”

“It’s my new favorite TV show!” said Dominique Nelson, who recently gave birth to premature twins. “I love it.”

This AngelEye Technology offered by Hennepin Healthcare keeps parents actively involved with their infant’s care team, and can prepare them to care for their fragile little one when it’s time to take their baby home.

Thanks to generous supporters of the Hennepin Heroes fund, Hennepin Healthcare Foundation was able to launch the AngelEye service in the NICU last week, the day before Christmas.

About Hennepin Healthcare
Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital located in downtown Minneapolis offering a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient pediatric care, including The Birth Center.

About AngelEye Health
AngelEye’s HIPAA-compliant TeleEngagement Solutions are now supporting staff and families in over 90 facilities nationwide. Solutions include an advanced Camera System, bringing live-streaming patient video to families to reduce stress and anxiety, and support bonding when they cannot be at the hospital.  One-way Patient Updates that allow care teams to share patient status updates and memorable moments with real-time texts, pictures, and recorded videos. And, a customizable Parent Education Portal where hospitals can provide essential education and monitor parents’ progress on their infant’s path to discharge. These Solutions support care team workflows and give families a view into the treatment plan and progress their baby is making from any connected device.

Angel Eye is located in Nashville, Tennessee and Little Rock, Arkansas.  For more information, please visit www.angeleye.health.

Hennepin Healthcare urges prevention, vigilance as flu season looms and COVID-19 remains a threat

Essential hospitals across the country call on communities to adhere to recommendations for handwashing, mask wearing, and other protective measures

Hennepin Healthcare has joined Valleywise Health of Phoenix, America’s Essential Hospitals, and a dozen other essential hospitals – those with a safety-net mission – in an urgent call for all Americans to remain vigilant and continue preventative actions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

As the nation faces a potential second surge of COVID-19 with cases on the rise in many states, hospital leaders are imploring the public to double down on safety measures to help keep at-risk people and health care workers safe.

“The surge we saw earlier this spring and summer was devastating,” explains Dr. Jim Miner, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Hennepin Healthcare. The hospital cared for the highest volume of COVID positive patients of any Twin Cities hospital during the initial surge of cases. “We’ve made innovative changes to our emergency department and campus to safely care for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, but of course the ideal scenario is to avoid getting sick.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the country’s underrepresented communities – the same populations commonly served by essential hospitals. Leaders at Hennepin Healthcare are asking the public to maintain the most basic – and effective – health and safety measures to keep people safe. These are known as the three Ws: wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

“We understand that people are growing tired of hearing prevention messages,” continues Dr. Miner. “So often these messages aren’t taken seriously until an exposure happens to someone you know – or even you. Don’t wait until then. What we’re hearing from patients is that many of their exposures may have been preventable.”

Dr. Miner also encourages everyone to have a conversation with the people they live with to understand their risk of exposure when they are away from home, for example, at work. Are co-workers adhering to safety measures? If not, household members can still practice the 3Ws to avoid bringing the virus home.

There are already more than 8 million cases in the United States and more than 224,000 deaths due to COVID-19. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, COVID-19 cases in our state continue to rise. While cases decreased in many hot spots in the early spring months, infections are rising again in many states, and some experts are concerned deaths will hit 300,000 by the end of the year.

The CDC reports that most COVID-19 infections are spread through contact with an infected person or through exposure to respiratory droplets within a range of 6 feet. Washing your hands often, wearing a mask, and staying 6 feet apart from others are the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus.

The nation’s essential hospitals and health systems provide access to high-quality care for all people. They serve large volumes of patients from the most vulnerable populations, including the underinsured and uninsured.