Going through a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with a premature infant is a profoundly disorienting experience to parents.
Doctors and nurses, though competent and caring, don’t have enough time to guide them through every process. Their child gets 24/7 support at the hospital for weeks, and when parents finally get to take their baby home, they are alone. Many go back to the emergency room because they are simply unprepared and misinformed. They spend weeks, up to months, away from work because they are afraid of leaving their child.
NeoCare Solutions is a mobile app coach that connects new parents of premature infants to a NeoCoach - a licensed nurse or social worker with extensive NICU experience. The coach guides them through the complexity of the NICU until their child’s first birthday, providing them with emotional support, information, and answering every one of their questions.
"Our technology platform, leveraged by the parents through an iPad application, provides answers to questions such as: How do I interact with the NICU staff? How do I ask doctors difficult questions? How do I come to grips with difficult news? What does that diagnosis or that treatment mean? How can I best help my baby, and how do we get home?”
Most great ideas come from personal experiences, desires, or frustrations. So it’s not surprising that the idea for NeoCare Solutions came from Dr. Jeffrey Jacques’ first encounter with a NICU.
“My wife and I are both doctors, yet we often struggled to understand what was going on in the NICU. All of Xavi’s doctors and nurses were dedicated and caring, but had a number of babies to take care of and were often rushed. The experience inspired me to create NeoCare Solutions, which combines experienced clinical and emotional support with the convenience of mobile technology.”
After his first-hand experience in 2010, Dr. Jacques got in touch with his employer Aetna to push them to find a solution together. In 2012 he interviewed 200 parents and set to launch the first pilot in early 2013.
NeoCare Solutions became commercially available in January 2015 and has been helping Aetna-insured parents ever since, free of charge.
NeoCare Solutions is a part of Healthagen, Aetna's health care subsidiary.
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