Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer has donated contactless baby monitors and iPads to hospitals in New York and her native Alabama to help nurses monitor coronavirus patients' crucial respiratory functions more safely.
"I, like many of you, have felt helpless in knowing how to help during this time," wrote the 47-year-old actress on Instagram Tuesday. "Seeing what is happening in the communities that I love, I have teamed up with @Mikucare to donate monitors to nursing and medical facilities … to provide much needed relief to nurses as they navigate care for COVID-19 patients."
The Los Angeles-based Miku makes a baby-monitor that uses wireless sensors to track changes in sleep and breathing patterns, and transmits that data to smartphones and other devices, such as iPads. Nurses, including those at the Bronx-based Montefiore Health System of 10 hospitals, have adapted them as contact-free patient monitors.
"With the understanding that respiration is one of the earliest indicators of illness, Miku's breathing monitoring can indicate potential onset before other symptoms present" themselves, continued Spencer, who most recently starred in the Netflix miniseries "Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker." "Miku's two-way talk and video functionality also provides patients and medical personnel a method to communicate safely and effectively with those who have contracted the highly contagious virus."
The "Ma" star urged, "Please everyone do your part to stay safe and stay home in order to protect yourself and the ones you love most and I hope we can all find ways — small and large — to give back to our neighbors, family, and those on the frontlines."
A second post contained photos of Montefiore staff familiarizing themselves with the device, which Spencer said "can monitor respiratory and communicate with 10 patients at a time. I wish I could afford to put these in every palliative care convalescent home and hospitals all across the world."
One Montefiore nurse was so appreciative that she tweeted a video of a line of medical personnel each doing dance moves. "Thank you #MIKU #OctaviaSpencer for allowing staff to complete assessments without entering the room," posted the account Neuro RN Leader. "Montefiore medical center neuroscience department so happy to receive #MIKU we decided to dance. … Thank you for your very generous gift. We at Montefiore Medical Center love you."
In addition to her Oscar for "The Help" (2011), Spencer was nominated for "Hidden Figures" (2016) and "The Shape of Water" (2017).