Mercedes F1 Contributes to Breathing Aid Development Amidst Coronavirus

The new CPAP developed by UCL and Mercedes-AMG HPP (image: James Tye/UCL)


The Mercedes Formula 1 team’s powertrain division has teamed up with leading London-based university UCL to develop and build a breathing aid designed to keep COVID-19 patients out of intensive care, as the automotive industry ramps up efforts to help tackle the coronavirus.


The new Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device developed by the collaboration is set to begin clinical trials within the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, ahead of a planned rapid roll-out across the country.


The CPAP device was developed by mechanical engineers from UCL and clinicians at UCLH, working with engineers from Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth.


The devices are similar to those used in hospitals in Italy and China to aid COVID-19 patients with lung infections to breathe more easily, and are used in situations where oxygen alone is insufficient. According to UCL, reports in Italy show that around half of patients given CPAP have avoided the need for mechanical ventilation.


The UCL, UCLH and Mercedes-AMG HPP team began work on the project on Wednesday 18 March, and produced the first device within 100 hours. It has now been recommended for use by the required regulator, and 100 devices will shortly be delivered to UCLH for clinical trials.


The device was reverse-engineered to enable it to be produced quickly, and UCL says that “rapid roll-out to hospitals around the country” will follow the trial.


Mercedes-AMG HPP Managing Director Andy Cowell said: “We have been proud to put our resources at the service of UCL to deliver the CPAR project to the highest standards and in the fastest possible timeframe.”

  • April 9, 2020
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