Breathing Aid That Takes Years to Develop Done in 100 Hours

The Mercedes F1 team lent its expertise
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2020 2:30 PM CDT
Breathing Aid That Takes Years to Develop Done in 100 Hours
In this Friday, March 27, 2020 photo provided by UCLH a female volunteer demonstrates the use of a CPAP device at UCL Hospital in London.   (UCLH via AP)

Formula One team Mercedes has helped to develop a breathing aid that could keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care and ease some pressure on Britain’s strained health service. As part of a combined effort involving seven Britain-based teams, Mercedes worked with engineers at the University College London and clinicians at University College London Hospital to adapt and improve a device that bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation. The device, known as continuous positive airway pressure, has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to deliver oxygen to the lungs of coronavirus patients during the pandemic, reports the AP.

UCL said the adapted devices have been recommended for use in Britain and that 100 of them are being sent to its hospital for clinical trials. There is the potential for quick roll-out by Mercedes to hospitals across the country. Tim Baker, a professor from UCL's department of mechanical engineering, said clinicians called on the "capability of Formula One" to reduce a process "that could take years down to a matter of days," with the adapted device taking less than 100 hours to develop from an initial meeting. Read the full story for more on the F1's "Project Pitlane."

(More coronavirus stories.)

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