The last time I did a post on the Formula One teams behind the scenes with project pitlane was well over a year ago and thought an update was well overdue. For those of you that don't know Project Pitlane involves all the Formula One teams helping develop any items that are urgently required by the medical profession. What is important is these things are all done at cost and are all profit free.
Remember back when Covid first hit and some supplier wanted to charge a hospital $1000 for an arbitrary part that would only take a few hours on a 3D printer to make. That was all sorted by the Formula One teams stepping in and making those parts for free. Government health facilities around the world have all benefitted from the teams generosity and time given to these projects.
When Covid first hit the biggest problem was a lack of ventilators which the teams reversed engineered using their factories delivering over 1000 units a week. Mercedes took an off patent ventilator and disassembled it and had a prototype ready within 100 hours approved and ready to go. Within 6 weeks they had over 10 000 units ready for distribution.
The teams didn't stop their and after watching a video of a children's hospital they went about developing a mobile ventilator as they saw the difficulty of moving patients around under high care. This mobile ventilator has been hailed as a huge success saving many patients lives. Patients who would normally be waiting on a ventilator could now use a mobile device.
The teams didn't just reverse engineer equipment but also developed equipment that has been hailed as breakthrough items in the medical field.
Mercedes developed a breathing aid called the CPAP or UCL-Ventura which pushes an air oxygen mix through the nose and mouth at a continuous rate. The reports suggest from around the world that this device prevented more than 50% of patients who used CPAP from ever having to use a ventilator and keeping them out of intensive care. This is one breakthrough that has furthered and enhanced the Formula One teams as a whole to the general public and medical world.
Ferrari developed this pulmonary ventilator in 5 weeks.
The latest invention the teams have put together with the help of Leicester University is a communication device. Doctors and nurses have been struggling with communication especially when wearing a full PPE uniform. This is not only helpful for Covid but any infectious disease department in hospitals around the world.
The Alpine Racing Team along with Red Bull Formula One have put together a throat microphone that increases/amplifies the volume of speech without having to shout to each other. Not only is this handy for the medical staff but also the patients as the device can be linked with a cell phone so doctors, patients plus family members can all talk together on one conversation. This is important when someone especially a child is in the ICU giving parents contact with their loved one.
“Even if someone is standing next to you, if you’re head-to-toe in PPE, you have to be shouting to be able to hear one another. Not only is that exhausting, but we know that this can cause errors of miscommunication which could potentially harm patients.
Good communication has a profoundly positive effect on patient care, and that is why we started work on a solution.
Working with the F1 engineers has been brilliant. We’ve been able to use their expertise in advanced electrical engineering and their facilities for rapid prototyping to produce in six months a device which would normally take years.”
There has been so much collaboration happening between the teams on various projects over the last 18 months this bond will only get stronger. The factories have the latest and best equipment plus the engineers and expertise to make anything that is required. I am sure we will see so many things appearing in the medical field.