This study, published in Pediatrics, makes perfect sense:

The use of videoconferencing by some hospitalized children and families to conduct virtual visits with family and friends out- side of the hospital was associated with a greater reduction in stress during hospitalization than those who did not use videoconferencing.


Researchers at the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital used Family Link — a videoconferencing program that can be used with laptops and tablets (with webcams) — to allow hospitalized children and families to stay connected with friends and family members.  Previous studies have shown that parental presence in the pediatric ICU can lead to improvements of physiologic parameters such as intracranial pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure, indicating an impact on a hospitalized child’s feeling of fear and anxiety.

Hospitals that exist specifically for children tend to be regional rather than local.  This means that children and their families often travel far from their homes for care which is usually complicated and may require a prolonged stay in the hospital. Allowing videoconferencing between patients and family and friends is not only a thoughtful and generous idea whose time has come, but it seems to improve outcomes for those patients.