Breathing aids that Mercedes co-developed with University College London to fight COVID-19 are now being used in “at least” 15 countries.
Project Pitlane was launched early on in the pandemic by seven Formula 1 teams with the aim of developing ventilators to help those suffering from coronavirus.
As part of said project, Mercedes AMG’s High Performance Powertrains and the University College London developed the UCL-Ventura device, a breathing aid.
The British government ordered 10,00 of them and they were promptly delivered to NHS hospitals throughout the nation.
“It is exceptionally pleasing to see that the flow devices swiftly engineered and produced in volume here at Brixworth are helping patients around the UK,” said Mercedes AMG HPP Managing Director Andy Cowell.
Since then, the devices have been continued to be produced in the UK and, according to the Formula 1 website, shipped to the likes of Palestine and Uganda.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 17, 2021
What’s more, they are also locally manufactured in India, Pakistan, South Africa and Mexico as Mercedes and UCL made all the details of the designs available to copy free of charge.
In fact, the President of the University, Dr Michael Spence says that the breathing aids are now being used in at least 15 countries all around the world.
“The development of the UCL-Ventura is a remarkable story of scientific breakthrough innovation and collaboration between UK universities, hospitals and industry,” he said.
“The speed with which the breathing aid was produced and approved for use on the NHS was startling and we are proud that it is now helping to save the lives of seriously-ill COVID-19 patients in over 130 hospitals in the UK and at least 15 countries around the world.”
As well as Mercedes, Red Bull and Renault also worked together to develop emergency ventilators. However, those were ultimately not required by the NHS and thus were not mass-produced.