In March 2020, as COVID-19 cases started to surge for the first time in the UK, a team spanning UCL engineers, University College London Hospital (UCLH) intensivists and Mercedes Formula 1 came together to design, manufacture and deploy non-invasive breathing aids for COVID-19 patients. We reverse engineered and an off-patent CPAP (continuous positive airways pressure) device, the Philips WhisperFlow, and changed its design to minimise its oxygen utilisation (given that hospital oxygen supplies are under extreme demand). The UCL-Ventura received regulatory approvals from the MHRA within 10 days, and Mercedes HPP manufactured 10,000 devices by mid-April. UCL-Ventura CPAPs are now in use in over 120 NHS hospitals.
In response to international need, the team released all blueprints open source to enable local manufacture in other countries, alongside a support package spanning technical, manufacturing, clinical and regulatory components. The designs have been downloaded 1900 times across 105 countries, and around 20 teams are now manufacturing at scale and deploying in local hospitals. We have also worked closely with NGOs, on a non-profit basis, to deliver devices directly to countries with urgent need, including Palestine, Uganda and South Africa.
We continue this term with our flagship seminars given by notable scientists on topics that are relevant to Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
Note the new time of 12:00-13:00 on Thursdays.
This will give an opportunity for the entire community to attend and for speakers with childcare responsibilities to present.