vCreate – Secure Video Messaging technology, helping minimise separation anxiety in parents of children in Neonatal and Paediatric Units

vCreate is an NHS Trusted Secure Video Messaging service that allows clinical teams in Neonatal and Paediatric Units to send video updates to parents for those times when they're unable to be with their child.

vCreate is an NHS Trusted Secure Video Messaging service that allows clinical teams in Neonatal and Paediatric Units to send video updates to parents for those times when they’re unable to be with their child. Regular video updates provide reassurance and help minimise separation anxiety and can help to comfort worried parents and their extended family. Research has also shown this reassurance helps new mothers express breast milk.

Often parents have other children to care for and work commitments and they may live a considerable distance from the hospital.  So being at their child’s side 24 hours a day may not be possible. When parents call the unit to get updates, busy clinical staff aren’t always available to speak. In these situations, nurses can now step in and send parents secure video updates of their child, from the unit directly to parents’ smartphones with the help of vCreate.

Parents can login to the vCreate App at any time to see how their child is progressing and can leave notes and feedback for the nursing team. Once their child has been discharged from hospital, parents are able to download the videos and keep them forever.

Staff can check to see if videos have been viewed and additional features allow them to add on-screen captions, as well as seasonal effects where appropriate, like falling snowflakes at Christmas or hearts on Valentine’s Day, which have proved to be very popular with parents. The system also allows parents to leave comments for staff, once they’ve viewed the video, building rapport and improving communication.

Security built-in

As it’s critical that videos can only be accessed by the child’s parents, security is a key feature of the application, as Ben Moore, Founder, vCreate explains: “We have a security feature on the platform which ensures that all videos are internally published behind a secure firewall and are therefore only accessible by approved viewers. Parents are given secure access to videos of their own child only. As more videos are created a story is formed of the child’s road to recovery. The parents can then take the videos with them when the child leaves the unit as a memento. The videos are then permanently deleted from the system in line with data protection policy. Although it may sound complex, from both staff and parent’s point of view, it’s really simple to use.”

Success stories

The application first launched at The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, which has the largest Neonatal unit in Scotland, in December 2016. Since then, Secure Video Messaging is now used in 30 Neonatal and Paediatric units across the UK with a further 30+ currently going through implementation and governance. vCreate is also in use at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Perhaps the most gratifying measure of vCreate’s success has been the overwhelmingly positive reaction from both staff and parents.

As parent Charlotte Hinder put it: “It’s heart-breaking to leave your baby in hospital. He’s my most precious possession. Now, I can know that he is happy and being well looked after when I’m not there like when I’m looking after my other children and have to be at home”. 

Leesha Waring echoes that sentiment: “It helps me feel like my baby is with me even when he’s not. It shows me daily updates and how the staff are caring for him.”

The vCreate neonatal story has attracted much media attention with features on national and local television and radio. In 2017, vCreate won the Health Tech News ‘Winner of the Year’ Award.

Future thinking

Inspired by vCreate’s success in Neonatal and Paediatric units, many other healthcare applications are now being considered. As Ben Moore, Founder, vCreate puts it: “We have been approached by several senior clinicians from across the UK to discuss other potential applications for our secure video service. These enquiries have included clinical applications for Spinal Injury, Geriatric Medicine, Neurology, Critical-Care Transport and Adult Intensive Care, to name a few. We look forward to piloting some of these in 2019 and we hope that we will continue to make a positive impact on patient care, clinical outcomes and greater efficiencies”.

If you have an idea for improving lives using secure video in healthcare, get in touch.


Tel: 0333 141 8422


Join our audience of healthcare industry professionals

Join our audience of healthcare industry professionals