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IWK babies to get high-tech link

Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo with Peter MacKay

Marsha Campbell-Yeo, centre, neonatal nurse practitioner and clinician scientist, talks with Justice Minister Peter MacKay following a news conference for a new project called ChezNICU at the IWK Health Centre on Friday. (RYAN TAPLIN / Staff)

The IWK Health Centre’s tiniest patients will soon be connecting with family, doctors and other caregivers with smartphone and tablet technology.

The federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing $217,145 for smart technology to link patient rooms in the newborn intensive care unit to family homes, as well as to physicians and nurses, both on- and off-site.

The pilot project, called ChezNICU, will be launched at the Halifax health facility in 2016.

“What this is going to offer is a virtual ability for (families) to see and interact with care providers, their baby and/or one of the parents, who are here, with those who are at home (or) really anywhere,” said Marsha Campbell-Yeo, a neonatal nurse practitioner and clinician scientist at the IWK.

Cisco Canada is collaborating with the IWK on developing the secure virtual environment, and is providing matching funds in technical support for the project.

“It is really targeting communication both for family to family, family to care provider, and also care provider to care provider, as we try to bring babies back home to their communities,” said Campbell-Yeo, scientific lead on the project and an assistant professor at Dalhousie University’s school of nursing.

“Care providers in the communities may require more education so we can also provide that on a virtual basis.” Read full Chronicle Herald article here.

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