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28/10/13 15:00

Keeping parents connected

Video link lets parents monitor babies in hospital.

Parents in Scotland will now be able to stay connected with their babies while they are in neonatal intensive care units through a new secure camera link.

The exciting new project, unveiled during telehealth and telecare week, is being piloted in NHS Fife through the newly formed Digital Health Institute (DHI).

The technology used in the pilot, called BabySam, consists of a Samsung wireless camera installed near the baby’s cot, connected with a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Nurses control the camera feed, which transmits live video to a second Samsung Galaxy Tab in the parent’s room, or at any remote location.

Speaking ahead of the European Telemedicine conference tomorrow Health Secretary, Alex Neil said:

“Having a baby in an intensive care unit can be an extremely stressful and worrying time for any new parent.

“Through this innovative new technology parents will be able to view their baby and feel connected to them while they receive the vital treatment they need to get better.

“This is also a fantastic example of Scotland working with global companies to ensure that our NHS is at the forefront of using cutting-edge technology.

“I am pleased that Samsung have chosen to work with our vibrant health sector on this ground-breaking project which will bring about real benefits for Scottish parents.”

Bumcoo Cho, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics said:

“Earlier this year, Samsung, Digital Health Institute and NHS Scotland created a unique partnership and are already taking the first concrete steps towards some exciting new innovations in mobile healthcare. The Samsung team has worked closely with NHS Fife to understand the requirements particular to healthcare, and then helped turn them into solutions with value.”

Dr Sean Ainsworth, NHS Fife Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, said:

“NHS Fife is delighted to take part in this pilot. The bonding between a mother and her baby is an important process and has implications for the child's future development.

“Sometimes 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 BabySam will help overcome any sense of geographical isolation by allowing mothers to see real-time images of their babies, providing reassurance to parents and improving the bonding between the mother and her baby even when they cannot physically be together.”

The wireless design assures that the device does not intrude on to the doctors and nurses overseeing the unit and lets them have full control over what is transmitted. The software on the Samsung Galaxy Tab viewing station in the parents’ room is optimised for ease of use when viewing the video feed from the baby’s room.

The BabySam technology was created by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd and its use in the NHS in Scotland is supported by the DHI. The pilot is the first project to be prototyped and evaluated using the DHI’s Digital Health ‘Factory’.

Samsung and NHS Fife will work with the DHI and Dr Rhona Hogg, Edinburgh Napier University to understand the improvements in bonding and breast feeding, and the potential reduction in separation anxiety for premature babies separated from their mothers.

Notes to editors

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 270,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.

Samsung is proud to support NHS Scotland in realising the business needs of 21st century mobile healthcare. This week Samsung Enterprise Business Team is participating in the inaugural European Telemedicine Conference (http://telemedicineconference.eu/). They will be demonstrating ‘BabySam’ as well as other products such as ‘Mobile Clinical Assistant’ and LABGEO IB10, which successfully launched earlier this year with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

As partners, the NHS in Scotland and Samsung are taking leadership in innovating cutting edge healthcare solutions, with the goal of revolutionising healthcare in Scotland, and providing a template for other medical providers in Europe and beyond. The MoU is now superseded by the formal creation of the DHI for Scotland, which will provide the commercial framework for all commercial partnerships in future.

The Digital Health Institute (DHI) is an Innovation Centre funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) in partnership with Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The DHI creates an open community where industry collaborate and work together with academia, health, care and social partners effectively on innovation opportunities which creating societal and economic benefits in Scotland.

The Digital Health Factory supports Digital Health Institute members in progressing a known solution much closer to market and deployment. The Factory offers a facilitation and resource platform, including access to expertise and test environments, business mentoring support and facilitation to source funding. The Factory works with industry, health and care partners, third sector and university partners to develop commercialisable solutions to real life situational challenges that can make a difference in clinical, professional or user based settings.