Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee
Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee

NeoParent 2.0: Neonatology - Family focus

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CenSE researchers: Wim Keygnaert
Duration: September 2019 - September 2021
Financing: PWO
Partners: UZ Gent; UZ Brussels; ZOL Genk; Ghent University (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Public Health and Primary Care)

With NeoParent 2.0, we extend a previously developed app to support parents with a neonatal baby to the wider family. After all, in addition to the support that the app now offers during the hospital stay, there was a need for a broader context. We are going for a unique approach to co-creation and will provide the necessary material to optimize the quality and continuity of care for the broad family when admitting to 'Neonatal Intensive Care' (NIC). Contact Inge Tency if you want to know more about this project or take a look at

If a baby is born prematurely or has a less good start after birth, admission to the "Neonatal Intensive Care" (NIC) department is necessary. Sometimes the recording is planned, but often it is acute / unexpected and an emotional, difficult period comes for parents. NIC Departments see parents as primary caregivers and attach great importance to their active involvement in caring for the baby. By involving parents, they can bond with their child, which results in a feeling of safety in the baby, reduces stress and positively influences growth and development.

The NeoParent app is currently being developed to support parents during their baby's stay with the aim of personalizing information, optimizing communication between all involved and encouraging parental participation. During a pilot study in the fall, the app will be tested to detect technical bugs, monitor their use and evaluate them among parents / caregivers.

Although this first prototype focuses on important aspects such as information, communication and parental participation, additional needs were identified by the professional field and parents, namely attention for the broad family (brothers / sisters, grandparents) and continuity of care after discharge. It also became clear that it is necessary to map the effectiveness of the NeoParent app and the win-win for parents (in terms of bonding, well-being and comfort, etc.). In addition, it is necessary to further optimize and valorize this first prototype before the app can be part of the standard care offer.

This project focuses on three themes: (1) Involvement and needs / perception of brothers / sisters ('brusses'), (2) Information needs of parents after discharge (home or when transferring to a peripheral hospital) and (3) Valorisation and effectiveness of the NeoParent app.

Expected output
This follow-up project focuses on the broader family context and specific information needs of parents after discharge. Through a unique approach to co-creation with various actors, we want to provide the necessary tools / educational material to practice in order to optimize the quality / continuity of care for the broad family during an NIC admission. The focus on the effectiveness and valorization of the NeoParent app, in combination with the new knowledge / insights, must enable the further optimization, roll-out and sustainable implementation of the NeoParent app, so that the NeoParent app can eventually become the reference app for neonatology. in Flanders.

Interesting links
Center for Sustainable
02 609 88 64