Yesterday, Mercedes-Benz announced that they are ready to build the necessary components/medical devices that will help the overwhelmed healthcare system. With the aid of 3D printing, the company claimed they can build 150,000 plastic and metal components that can be used for medical devices, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE).
Now, Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 and Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains engineers have also stepped in to help fight the coronavirus. In collaboration with engineers from the University College London (UCL) and UCL Hospital, they were able to develop a breathing device that can be mass-produced to address the anticipated surge of coronavirus patients in the United Kingdom.
According to UCL, it only took them less than 100 hours from the initial meeting to the production of the first device. Using an existing Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) breathing device that helps patients with serious lung infections breathe without resorting to invasive mechanical ventilation, they were able to reverse engineer the said device for mass production. With it, 100 devices are set to be delivered to UCLH for clinical trials, with rapid roll-out to hospitals around the country ahead of the predicted surged in COVID-19 hospital admissions.
“The Formula 1 community has shown an impressive response to the call for support, coming together in the ‘Project Pitlane’ collective to support the national need at this time across a number of different projects. We have been proud to put our resources at the service of UCL to deliver the CPAP project to the highest standards and in the fastest possible time frame,” said Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG HPP.
Currently, there are not enough CPAP devices available in the UK that will be able to cope with the sudden surge of COVID-19 patients. But thanks to the efforts done by UCL, UCLH, and Mercedes-AMG F1 and HPP, perhaps the UK stands a chance of having enough devices ready to help those severely ill.