Babycams Deliver Premmie Livestream

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
  • The Townsville University Hospital’s (TUH) ‘babycams’ are helping parents of premmie and sick babies feel at ease by giving them 24/7 live stream access to their bubs.
  • Following a successful pilot in 2018, the technology was implemented in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in December 2023.
  • Since then, the babycams have delivered more than 800 hours of live streaming to more than 130 families.

The revolutionary cot-side cameras, trading as AngelEye but known fondly as ‘Babycams’, were a passion project for TUH neonatologist Professor Yoga Kandasamy.

The ‘Babycams’ have LED touch screens attached to the cots with USB ports that can transmit video, pictures, and texts to update families, removing the physical barriers that separate families from their babies while they are receiving care.

Professor Kandasamy’s one year research pilot started in 2018 in partnership with James Cook University, CSIRO, and Optus.

The research showed conclusively that when parents, especially mothers, could see their babies in real time they felt confident to leave the unit to spend time with their other children and look after their own mental and physical health and wellbeing.

This was especially true for families who lived in rural and remote areas whose babies were in the NICU for months at a time.

Babycams are now live streaming from each of the TUH NICU’s 50 cots.

The health service has committed $277,265 including $97,150 in recurrent funding to this innovation helped along with a generous contribution of $111,500 from partners Glencore via our Brighter Lives Foundation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman:

“Being separated from your new baby, especially when they need specialist care in the NICU, can be extremely stressful for the parents and family.

“Being able to check in on their bubs in real time, no matter where they are, is proving to be a gamechanger for parents, especially for families in rural and remote areas.

“It’s fantastic to see the TUH is the first public hospital in Queensland to offer this innovative technology and it is also the only tertiary neonatal unit for northern Australia.

“This means the babycams are helping families from across the norther region, including the Torres Strait and communities to the Northern Territory border, to stay connected with their babies.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Mundingburra Les Walker:

“Townsville University Hospital provides world class care for people throughout North Queensland which is why this technology is fantastic for parents.

“There is nothing more precious than a new life and this technology has already made a huge difference for many people which is why this expansion is so important.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Townsville Scott Stewart:

“There is an increasing role for technology in our hospitals and it’s fantastic to have these babycams in Townsville helping parents throughout the north.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper:

“We will continue to back Townsville University Hospital with the services they need like these babycams to make sure the community has the best care possible.”

Quotes attributable to Professor Yoga Kandasamy

“Our babies are often with us for a long time, sometimes many months, and this is very wearing on families, emotionally and physically, especially if they have other children, jobs, and competing responsibilities at home.

“The research also anecdotally found that mothers could express breast milk more easily at home because they could see their babies in real time.

“Breast milk is critical to the survival, growth, and development of preterm and unwell babies so this is another major benefit of the technology.

“I am so pleased to see this innovation bringing peace of mind to families and I want to congratulate the neonatal team for their commitment to training in the technology and to our funding partner Glencore.”

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