Digital support

Digitalisation has reached nearly all aspects of life. New technologies such as mobile apps or digital camera systems have arrived in the neonatal intensive care unit. They can be valuable supplementary tools for parents and siblings whose babies respectively brothers or sisters are beeing treated in the NICU.

Mobile apps

A growing number of apps targeted at parents of preterm infants is available. The core of nearly all of them is the tracking of the baby’s development in combination with a digital diary. There, parents can add data such as weight, drinking behaviour, milestones, and pictures. But most of the apps offer more functions. These vary from an appointment reminder, checklists for parents for preparing a doctor’s consultation to a medication reminder with guidance for parents how to use it. Now, there are even apps developed for siblings of preterm infants. They are supposed to help young children to understand the situation when they get a brother or sister born preterm.

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Web camera systems

Web camera systems in the NICU allow virtual visitation of the hospitalised infant by parents and family members. The University Hospital (Universitätsklinikum Bonn, UKB) of Bonn belongs to the first hospitals in Germany that offers parents (and family members or friends) the opportunity of virtual visits for the time they are not able to be with the child. In a guest article, Dr Till Dresbach, Senior Physician for pediatrics and youth medicine, introduces this service and his point of view.

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