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Mercedes Formula One Engineers Develop Airway Pressure Device To Help Fight Coronavirus

Mercedes’s Formula One engineers have teamed up with University College London Hospital (UCLH) clinicians to develop a device that is less invasive than a ventilator. This Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device is already in use to aid COVID-19 patients breathing in China and Italy.


While the device already exists, there is a shortage of supply. Recently, it underwent some reverse engineering and modifications. These modifications include improving its design and adapting it for mass production.


“Normally medical device development would take years but we’ve done that in days because we went back to a simple existing device and ‘reverse engineered’ it in order to be able to produce them quickly and at scale,” Professor Rebecca Shipley, Director of UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering said.


The UCLH will trial up to 100 of the new CPAP devices. If the trials go well, Mercedes-AMG-HPP can produce up to 1,000 of the CPAP devices in a week. After which they will send them to hospitals around Britain.


This is imperative as experts expect Covid-19 cases to surge in the near future.


The CPAP device keeps the patient’s airways open, increasing the amount of oxygen entering the lungs. It achieves this by pushing air into the mouth and nose of a patient at a continuous rate.


A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device.  Photo: UCHL
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UCLH critical care consultant Prof Mervyn Singer said:


“These devices are a halfway house between a simple oxygen mask and invasive mechanical ventilation which requires patients to be sedated. They will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill.”

Ventilator Challenge UK

A consortium of UK businesses in the UK is also coming together to produce medical ventilators. They include industrial, technology and engineering companies.


The companies in the “VentilatorChallengeUK” include Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens. The companies have an order of more than 10,00 ventilators from the British Government.


Chief executive of High Value Manufacturing Catapult, D**k Elsy said:


“This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world. They are working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people in many countries.”


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Kolawole Awolope

Passionate about talking, passionate about talking tech.

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