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Neo-CamCare - Use of webcams on neonatal intensive care units

Scientific and operative project management

Dr. Nadine Scholten

Project execution (IMVR)

Jan Hofmann

Laura Mause

Alinda Reimer

Scientific collaboration partners

Dr. Till Dresbach, University Hospital Bonn
Prof. Dr. Andreas Müller, University Hospital Bonn
Prof. Dr. Ludwig Kuntz, Healthcare management, University of Cologne
Prof. Dr. Martin Hellmich, IMSB, University of Cologne
Dipl. Stat. Christina Samel, IMSB, University of Cologne
Prof. Dr. Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Dr. Sebastian Bretthauer, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Stefanie Wobbe-Ribinski, DAK-Gesundheit (SHI)
Dr. Dirk Horenkamp-Sonntag, Techniker Krankenkasse (SHI)


06/2019 - 05/2022

Funding institution

Innovation Fund of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA)

Project description

Every year, almost 10,500 very small premature babies with a birth weight of less than 1,500 g are born in Germany. These prematurely born children with a critical weight are usually cared for over in the so-called perinatal centres over a long period of time.

It is not always possible for mothers and fathers to be permanently with their child in the hospital. This separation could lead to a strain on the parents and the parent-child relationship or the parental bond. Therefore, some facilities provide a webcam to see the child. However, this service is currently only available in a few neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Germany. Nevertheless, the use of such webcams can also bring psychological challenges and burdens. Often, there is no systematic information or education provided for the parents.

The aim of the project Neo-CamCare is to analyse the current distribution and to capture the attitude towards using webcams in German NICUs and to evaluate their use. At the same time, the demand, possible barriers and parents’ concerns should be examined. Subsequently, a practical guide for parents and clinic employees will be developed. This guidance will include recommendations for the usage and handling of webcams.

The cameras will initially be implemented and evaluated at four clinics. The evaluation and analyses are carried out at the Institute of Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation (IMVR), University of Cologne in cooperation with the University Hospital Bonn, the Goethe-University Frankfurt and the Data Protection Research Centre, as well as the Techniker Krankenkasse and DAK-Gesundheit. Further assistance is provided by the federal association “Das frühgeborene Kind” e. V. (“The premature child”) and the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn infants (EFCNI). In the long run, the outcomes enable a structured, scientifically sound use of webcams in NICUs in Germany and address the needs of both parents and clinical staff.

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