Technology which protects Formula One drivers in the event of a crash, has been used to create a safe environment for new-born babies needing emergency transportation.
The advanced engineering arm of the Williams Group has designed and manufactured the Babypod 20 in collaboration with Advanced Healthcare Technology (AHT).
The hi-tech carbon fibre transport devices – which can withstand a 20 G-force crash – have been launched in Intensive Care Ambulances used at Great Ormond Street Hospital and run by the Children Acute Transport Service which also advised on design requirements.
Transporting new-born infants requires a safe, secure and temperature regulated environment, which has previously required the use of heavy and cumbersome incubators. These devices not only require an electricity supply, which is not always readily available, but also dedicated vehicles costing health services more.
The Babyhood 20…
… has been designed to provide the environment that a baby needs at a significantly reduced price of a standard transport incubator. Lightweight and easy to handle, Babypod 20 can attach to any transport stretcher whether on a trolley or in an ambulance, car or even helicopter.
The parallels between a Formula One car and transport device for babies may not be immediately apparent, but both demand a lightweight and strong structure that keeps the occupant safe in the event of an accident, and can monitor vital signs whilst remaining easily transportable and accessible.
Williams has taken the existing Babypod product and worked with AHT to create a device that is not only more compact and user-friendly but, crucially, can be scaled up in its production. Furthermore, accessibility has been improved with a slide and tilt mechanism to give greater ease of access for hospital staff. New, sleek styling has also been employed by the team.