F1's continued efforts to assist the medical sector with life-saving equipment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has turned to providing new communication systems for doctors and nurses.
Project Pitlane, which consists of engineers from across the F1 grid, provided health services with certified ventilators during the initial outbreak of the virus last year.
Now, it has teamed up with the University of Leicester and hospitals in the city to supply and successfully trial a "pioneering new device" to allow staff to clearly communicate with one another.
The prototype MedicCom design uses a throat microphone to pick up and amplify sound, which enables patients to better hear the medical staff caring for them.
Professor of Emergency Medicine Tim Coats explained: “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.”
Alpine leads manufacturing process
Alpine F1 Team Strategic Advisor Bob Bell, Alpine former Head of Electronics, Jason Rees and Andy Damerum at Red Bull Advanced Technologies combined forces with Professor Coats to understand the medical profession’s needs.
Prototypes of the MedicCom device were developed at Alpine's Enstone base, with the design team now seeking funding to roll out the devices throughout the NHS.
Bell added: “Project Pitlane has continued the work it started during the ventilator challenge, this time assisting the University of Leicester to develop a novel medical communications device to assist NHS clinicians wearing PPE.
“It has been a pleasure to work with both the University and Innovate UK, and we hope that it will lead to further fruitful collaborations.”
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