University College London engineers have teamed up with clinicians at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and Mercedes Formula One to develop a breathing aid that could help keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care.

The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure aid (CPAP), which was created in under a week, delivers oxygen to the lungs without patients requiring a ventilator. That means patients with serious lung infections caused by the virus, like pneumonia, can breathe more easily.

The device is already used in hospitals across the country, but as it stands are in limited numbers.

Forty devices have been sent to UCLH as well as three other hospitals on trial, and if proved successful, the devices could be produced at a rate over up to 1000 per day, with production starting in a week.

The potentially life-saving technology has already been used in China and Italy to help Covid-19 patients. It’s claimed that around half of all patients who’ve received this treatment in Italy – the European epicentre of the pandemic – have avoided having to be put on a ventilator.

The Mercedes Formula One team is among a host of British firms who are teaming up with UK hospitals to rapidly develop vital equipment for Covid-19 patients.

Due to the limited number of ventilators in the UK, leading industry experts from aerospace, automotive and medical sectors have teamed up to ramp up production.  Other F1 teams including Haas F1, McLaren, Red Bull Racing, Racing Point, Renault Sport Racing and Williams have collaborated to help produce ventiltors.