India-based hospital chain Motherhood Hospitals has deployed virtual neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) at five locations in the country, reported

The NICUs are remotely linked to a round-the-clock central care centre set up by the hospital to act as the hub for full-time patient management and continuous medical support.

Leveraging remote patient monitoring technology, the unit provides virtual lifesaving neonatal care to newborn babies admitted to hospitals in rural and semi-urban areas with no proper NICU.

Said to be a first-of-its-kind project in India, the hospital network’s NICU Live solution has treated 300 high-risk newborn babies in four months.

The NICU Live is being offered to five remote locations, namely Anantapur, Hindupur, Hisar, Madanpalle and Patna.

NICU Live brings together modern technologies, including remote monitoring and a specialised digital solution with experienced neonatologists and nurses.

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The central care centre provides monitoring and round-the-clock support to remote NICU centres.

As several birthing facilities in rural settings do not have on-site neonatal care, NICU Live bridges this gap and treats preterm newborns and critically ill newborns.

The five NICUs utilise high-resolution PTZ cameras for live video feeds.

Motherhood Hospitals CEO Vijayarathna Venkatraman said: “Motherhood has been at the forefront of cutting-edge neonatal solutions. We have established 300 NICU beds across our network, which graduate more than 800 newborns each month.

“NICU Live is strengthening our mission of providing NICU care to the most distant parts of the country. With several newborns in rural and semi-urban areas needing immediate NICU care, this programme aims to bridge the gap and make NICU accessible to all.

“The technology is brilliant – what we have managed to do with it is a landmark moment in our journey to provide outstanding clinical care to newborns.”

Motherhood Hospitals neonatologist and paediatrician Dr Prathap Chandra said: “With NICU Live, we can now expect shorter hospital stays, better ability to deal with critical cases and happier outcomes.

“From a clinical standpoint, the pilot programme has been a revelation: we are able to simplify the entire process, right from admission to discharge. NICU Live’s proactive interventions and guided emergency management will set benchmarks in neonatal care once we bring more hospitals into the programme.”

Motherhood Hospitals has a network of 21 women and children’s hospitals across ten cities in India.