F1 technology transforming ambulance services for newborns

UK-based Williams designs ‘crash-proof’ Babypod 20

A Formula 1 racing team is using the same technology that helps racing drivers survive high-speed crashes to now create a “strong, light, and crash-proof” device which will keep newborns safe during emergency transportation. 

Known as the Babypod 20, the device is reportedly made from carbon fiber and can withstand up to 20 g-force impact. 

Designed and built by UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering in collaboration with healthcare firm Advanced Healthcare Technology (AHT), the pod will provide five layers of protection and can even be attached to stretchers in ambulances, cars or even helicopters.

“This challenge of providing a lightweight, strong pod to put infants in to be moved around is absolutely the same challenge virtually as we’re trying to tackle in the main chassis of a Formula 1 car.

We need it to be strong, we need it to be light and we need it to be crash proof so it’s the same challenges,” Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering Paul Mcnamara told Reuters today.

The pods are now being used by the UK’s Children’s Acute Transport Services and already making a “big difference” to their transportation processes, operational manager Eithne Polke told media.

In the past, incubators were used for newborns but they were heavy, cumbersome devices which required an external electricity supply and a dedicated vehicle to carry them around. There were 7,938 medical transfers of newborn children in Britain in the 12 months up to June this year, according to the UK’s Neonatal Transport Group, a medical association specializing in transporting children.

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