NICU-cedars-sinai-ipads

We can talk leaks, rumors and specs all day long — and we do — but every once in a while, it’s good to step outside the tech industry and see how these devices can have a deep and meaningful impact in the real world.

Take Cedars-Sinai, for example. Having seen plenty of complications that leave mothers bed-ridden and put newborns in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), the hospital unveiled a new iPad-based initiative that connects them via video chat during the critical early bonding stage.

With “BabyTime,” one tablet stays with the mother while the other is placed beside the baby’s incubator. Twice per day, she can check in for virtual visits (over a secure Internet connection) to see and hear her child, get updates from caregivers and ask questions. This provides unprecedented remote interaction between patients who would otherwise not be able to see each other at all.

This level of functionality may not be anything new to the tech community, but it’s pretty amazing in this setting. And hospitals are starting to figure out new and interesting uses since the FDA approved the use of iPads with a radiology app for mobile diagnoses a couple of years ago. They’re increasingly using tablets of all kinds to access patient charts and x-rays, and even act as visitor and patient kiosks.

Cedars-Sinai has been at the forefront of the technological push. The hospital equipped its staff with iPhones to better connect nurses and doctors, and it was also one of the first to deploy its own iPhone app, so doctors could access EKG results and fetal monitoring. And now, with this initiative, it found another way to deliver exceptional care for its littlest patients.

Via TUAW