GCU researchers to evaluate new technology to help mothers of premature babies

11 November 2014

GCU researchers to evaluate new technology to help mothers of premature babies

Dr Kerri McPherson, Dr Caroline King and Dr Susan Kerr will monitor the success of the mylittleone project

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will monitor the success of a new project which keeps mothers in constant contact with their premature babies.  

The mylittleone project is a secure webcam service launched in Victoria Hospital’s neonatal unit, Fife, which allows parents of premature babies to be connected to their new-born if they are not able to visit the intensive-care baby unit.

The evaluation of mylittleone is being led by researchers from GCU’s Institute for Applied Health Research, working in collaboration with colleagues from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the Edinburgh Health Services Research Unit, Edinburgh Napier University and NHS Fife. The team will evaluate the use of the video technology and will research the views of parents and health professional over a 12-month period.

The project sees the first product to be fully taken to market by the Digital Health Institute and is in partnership with HealthAlert24, which developed the video technology. NHS Fife has invested in the cutting-edge technology and equipped eight cots in the wireless IPcams technology.

GCU Reader in Public Health Dr Susan Kerr said: “We are delighted to be working with colleagues in Glasgow, the Edinburgh Health Services Research Unit and NHS Fife to evaluate the use of mylittleone. Our plan is to explore the views and experience of parents and healthcare professionals who have used the technology. The information gathered will allow us to make recommendations for the future development and use of mylittleone. The project will provide useful evidence to underpin the development of digital solutions in neonatal care settings, an area of priority highlighted by the Scottish Government.”

The technology aims to bring the mother and her baby closer at a time that is difficult and stressful.  The hope is that being able to see the baby’s incubator from their own bedside will provide mums with reassurance, improve the bonding process and prevent attachment disorders later on.

Dr Sean Ainsworth, NHS Fife Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, commented:

“In Scotland approximately 10% to 12% of all babies are admitted to a special care baby unit because they are either premature or just too poorly to remain with their mothers. We hope that mylittleone will help to overcome some of the potential psychological consequences, for example the sense of isolation, by allowing mothers to see their baby when they are unable to be close by.”

Formed in 2013 as a Scottish Government funded Innovation Centre, the Digital Health Institute aims to co-create sustainable economic growth by bringing together health and care organisations and technology firms from across the globe to produce innovative new technologies that will transform people’s lives and help Scotland become an exporter of such products and services.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Latest from Twitter