Parents of preemies often face a long journey ahead before they can even bring their new babies home. With the assistance of an iPad, one hospital is trying to help NICU babies come home faster.

At the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, months-long stays in the NICU are a thing of the past thanks to a new iPad app that assists parents in everything they need to care for their preemies at home, like monitoring feedings and weight. The app then transmits the data to the baby’s medical records where it can be easily accessed by doctors to provide an update.

photo: Carlo Navarro via Unsplash

In the past, parents often spent weeks or sometimes months with their babies remaining in the NICU due to an archaic system of note-taking via pen and paper to track a baby’s health. This would lead to frustrated and stressed parents, who had to balance life at the hospital with their home and jobs, as well as an often overcrowded NICU.

So far, this new digital tracking system has been a major success and has even rolled out to 15 other major hospitals across the country. They are also working on expanding the app to accommodate other types of patients in need, like kids with transplants.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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