The unit, which can withstand 20 G-force in a crash, has been made using the same technology, materials and design features that protect F1 racing car drivers from injury during a crash.
UK company Advanced Healthcare Technology (AHT) teamed up with Williams Advanced Engineering, the engineering and technology services arm of the Williams Group, to create the Babypod 20 Emergency Transport System.
On its website AHT claims that the pod will be much cheaper than standard transport incubators and can attach to any transport stretcher currently available.
The Children’s Acute Transport Service, based at Great Ormond Street Hospital, has trialled the new pod, which can transport babies weighing between 2kg and 8kg.
Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “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.
“We have 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 so that more hospitals can benefit from this Formula One-inspired technology.”
AHT design director Mark Lait, added: “Using the same technology, materials and design features that protect Formula One racing car drivers from injury during a crash, the revolutionary Babypod provides the security and warmth that a newborn needs, at a fraction of the cost of a standard transport incubator, in a package that is light, easy to handle, and can attach to any transport stretcher currently available.”
In May Birmingham City University researchers announced they were developing a new baby stretcher device to ensure that newborn babies are protected in ambulance crashes of up to 40mph.