Leicester academics have developed a new pioneering device to help doctors and nurses communicate clearly while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and have been successfully tested in collaboration with Formula 1 racing engineers.
EIP towards feet leading medical staff treating patients with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases has meant that doctors and nurses have to call periodically for them to be heard, which is not only exhausting, but can lead to misinformation errors that can harm patients.
Tim Coats, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of clinical data science at the University of Leicester, and emergency medicine consultant at Leicester Hospitals, has created MedicCom in collaboration with the nonprofit Project Pitlane.
The MedicCom design prototype, supported by KTN and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Innovate UK, uses a throat microphone to pick up and amplify sound, allowing patients to better hear the medical staff caring for them.
The same feature also allows doctors and nurses to hear each other much more clearly, while a Bluetooth connection connects to a cell phone, allowing the doctor or nurse to have a clear telephone conversation with the patient’s relatives.
Professor Coats said:
“Even if someone is by your side, if you’re on your feet in PPE, you have to shout so you can listen to each other. This is not only exhausting, but we know this can lead to misinformation it can harm patients.
“Good communication has a profoundly positive effect on patient care and that’s why we started working on a solution.
“Working with F1 engineers has been fantastic. We have been able to use their experience in advanced electrical engineering and their facilities to make rapid prototypes to produce in six months a device that would normally take years.”
He device prototypes they have been positively evaluated by doctors at Leicester Hospitals and the Birmingham Medical Device Technology Assessment Center, and the team behind the design is seeking additional funding to deploy the devices across the NHS.
The device went from design to fully functional prototype in six unprecedented months thanks to the methodologies generally used in the F1 industry. The group was able to significantly reduce the size of the device thanks to a more compact battery and lightweight components of the circuit board, as well as a smaller speaker and a sealing mechanism.
Subsequently, nine prototypes were produced using rapid prototype machines at the UK headquarters of Alpine F1 Team in Enstone, Oxfordshire.
The Pitlane project, which brings together competitors and staff from across F1 and motorsport, was created in March 2020 to respond to the UK government’s “call to arms” to collaborate and produce essential supplies in the UK. fight against COVID-19. It builds on the experience and goodwill of the entire industry to help various organizations with engineering problems and deliver a final product or service for good.
Alpine F1 team strategic advisor Bob Bell, former Alpine electronics chief Jason Rees and Andy Damerum at Red Bull Advanced Technologies worked closely with Professor Coats to understand the needs of the medical profession.
Bob Bell, strategic advisor to the Alpine F1 team, lent his experience to the system through the Pitlane Project. He said:
“The Pitlane project has continued the work begun during the ventilator challenge, this time helping the University of Leicester to develop a new medical communication device to help NHS clinicians wearing PPE.
“It has been a pleasure working with both the University and Innovate UK, and we hope it will lead to fruitful collaborations.”
In addition to the MedicCom prototype, F1 engineers have also worked on the BlueSky rapid response fan, while the Pitlane Project also has experience addressing challenges related to program management, analysis (materials science, performance optimization). , data analysis), software design and engineering. , and prototype manufacturing.
University of Leicester
Citation: F1 technology used in Leicester hospitals (2021, June 14), retrieved June 14, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-f1-tech-leicester-hospitals.html
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