WATCH | From F1 cars, to breathing aid: Mercedes joins fight against coronavirus

17 April 2020 - 14:02 By TimesLIVE Multimedia

A new version of a breathing aid that can help Covid-19 patients has been developed.

It's being made by a team involving Mercedes Formula One, and is being trialled at London hospitals.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices have been used during the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver oxygen to patients' lungs.

They help patients to breathe without the need for them to go on a ventilator, which is a more invasive process.

The new CPAP device has already been approved by the relevant regulator.

Now hundreds of the machines will be delivered to University College London Hospital for trials, before being rolled out to other hospitals.

The breathing aid was developed by engineers and clinicians who teamed up with Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.

The Mercedes team worked at a MechSpace hub to reverse engineer a device that can be produced quickly.

Development took fewer than 100 hours, from an initial meeting to the production of the first device.

Asked about the risk to health care workers of using CPAPs, as contaminated droplets can escape from the device, Prof Rebecca Shipley, director of UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, told the BBC that the risks were very low if those workers wore appropriate personal protective equipment.