The Mercedes F1 team have began to deliver up to 10,000 new breathing devices to the NHS, as part of Formula 1’s ‘Project Pitlane’ effort to help fight coronavirus.
The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices help patients with lung infections breath more easily and were designed by Mercedes alongside clinicians at the University College London Hospital.
Andy Cowell, managing director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, said: “Since the project was announced, we have received an incredible number of enquiries about the CPAP device from around the world.
“Making the design and manufacturing specifications available on an ‘open source’ basis will allow companies around the world to produce these devices at speed and at scale to support the global response to Covid-19.”
The team at the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains technology centre in Brixworth were tasked with creating an effective breathing aid which could be produced rapidly.
They took under 100 hours from the initial meeting to come up with a solution and the NHS has placed an order for 10,000 units after the device received regulatory approval last week.
Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice Provost Health, added: “These life-saving devices will provide vital support to the NHS in coming weeks, helping to keep patients off ventilators and reducing demand on intensive care beds and staff.
“It is a phenomenal achievement that they are arriving at hospitals only two weeks after the first prototype was built. It shows what can be done when universities, hospitals and industry work together for the national good.”
The Brixworth facility would usually be building F1 pistons and turbochargers, but the entire site has been refocused onto meeting the demand for CPAP devices with 40 machines dedicated to the cause.
The team are hoping that sharing their work with manufacturers around the globe will help other health services in their battle against Covid-19.
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