New Maternity Service Puts Newborns on TV

03/21/00    Portland, Ore.

OHSU Becomes First Portland Hospital Offering Interactive TV Service to Families


Portland couple uses service to put newborn son on interactive TV display to relatives in South Carolina.


11 a.m., Wednesday, March 22


OHSU Hospital (meet in main lobby)

New parents Peter and Tanisha Porath will get to show off their 4-day-old son Octavius to Peter's parents in South Carolina, thanks to a new service offered at Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital.

The service, Access Family TV, will make it possible for the Poraths to put Octavius on a live television hookup from their hospital room on Wednesday at 11 a.m. For the Poraths, this service will fill a gap until Peter's parents can travel from South Carolina to Portland later this spring. "My mother-in-law is very anxious to see her first grandchild," said Tanisha. "We can't wait to show them what a calm baby he is."

Expectant families who want the service simply provide the name and address of the selected relative to Access Family TV. When the mother is admitted to the hospital for delivery, the company sends a remote unit to the relative's home overnight. The service uses a special videophone unit located on the maternity floor to transmit live video over a telephone line.

"Most families have only a few members on hand when a baby is born, but the parents want to show the little one off to the world," said Bonnie Driggers, R.N., M.S., M.P.A., assistant director for medical surgical services at OHSU Hospital. "This service eliminates one barrier by creating a way for long-distance relatives to see and hear the baby right away and share the parents' joy."