During the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are limiting the number of visitors for newborn babies to combat the spread of the coronavirus. This can mean only one parent can see the child at a time and engagements can be limited, which can be heartbreaking for parents and family members concerned about the baby’s wellbeing.

To help reduce stress for parents with babies in the NICU, Dr. Craig Garfield, a pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and collaborator Young Seok Lee developed a smartphone app called SMART NICU2HOME, which allows parents to stay connected with their babies, sending them vital health updates, educational information about child care, de-stressing techniques, and a private social media account to share updates with friends and family.

“They aren’t at the bedside but they can still get that vital information every parent craves, and it helps fill the gap since family and friends used to be able to visit in person,” said Garfield.

Watch the video to see how the SMART NICU2HOME app works: