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Metro Atlanta hospital’s new camera system lets parents check on babies in NICU

Channel 2's Tony Thomas talks with Gwinnett Medical Center about the AngelEye cameras.

When a baby is born premature, they’re typically placed in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. For many parents of preemies, that can mean spending a lot of time apart from their new child.

» RELATED: Opinion: What I learned from the NICU nurses

To help facilitate and maintain some connection, Georgia's Gwinnett Medical Center is installing 44 closed circuit cameras for parents to keep an eye on their babies anytime in its NICU facilities.

GMC has been testing the AngelEye camera out with new mom Diana Garcia and her newborn Angel for the past few weeks.

According to Channel 2’s Tony Thomas, Angel was born four months premature in March. His mom gave the station special access to the camera, which offers parents live-streaming visual and one-way audio access to their newborns.

» RELATED: How March of Dimes is working to reduce Georgia's preterm births

“When we can’t come in, the camera—that’s how we get to see him,” Garcia told the news station. “Sometimes, Angel will open his eyes, like he knows we’re watching.”

Angel has been fighting in the NICU since birth and the family still doesn’t know when he’ll be able to come home.

While nothing replaces the touch of a mother’s hand, hospital administrators told Channel 2 the facility may have at least found a way to help out.

The cameras began rolling out in June.

In the latest Premature Birth Report Card from the March of Dimes, Georgia's preterm birth rate rose from 11.2% to 11.4%, earning it a grade of D. For African-American women, the rate of preterm births was even higher – 13.7%. Learn about how March of Dimes chapters continue to work to reduce this gap, as well as other racial and ethnic disparities.

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