When a newborn baby is admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), parents are frequently overwhelmed by the experience. The neonatal environment in which their baby is looked after can cause feelings of worry, confusion, and helplessness. Parents would often like more information about what is happening to their baby: Like the baby’s current weight, oxygen levels, milk feeding quantities, and so on. This coupled with understanding enables parents to adapt and cope with the situation. This sort of information is important because it helps parents to take on their parental role, as well as get involved with the care of their child.

To help supply parents with this sort of information, we are developing a computer system – known as BabyTalk-Family – that can automatically generate easy to understand reports on the medical condition of babies in neonatal care. These reports are updated every 24 hours and made available online to the infant’s parents, providing a simple summary of their child’s progress.

We are currently working with parents and clinical staff to help improve this system. The system will be trialled in a neonatal unit, in collaboration with the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health neonatal unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary hospital.

 

Contact: Ehud Reiter

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University of Aberdeen

 

NHS Lothian