UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


UCL-Ventura breathing aids for Covid-19 patients

Our team of UCL engineers, UCLH clinicians and industry partners Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains have developed a breathing aid that can help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care. See below for information on accessing the devices and designs.

The breathing aid, known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help Covid-19 patients with serious respiratory problems to breathe more easily, when oxygen via a face mask alone alone is insufficient. NHS guidance for the role and use of non-invasive respiratory support (including CPAP) in adult patients with COVID-19 is available on the NHS website here

The device we produced, called UCL-Ventura, has gained regulatory approval and the Department of Health and Social Care has ordered up to 10,000. We have conducted successful patient trials at UCLH and sister hospitals, and are now distributing devices to NHS hospitals across England, the devolved nations, and crown dependencies. We have also refined and modified the device to create a Mark II version, which has shown up to 70% reduced oxygen consumption in healthy volunteer assessments. To help meet international need, we have released the designs and manufacturing instructions for free to governments, industry manufacturers, academics and health experts across the globe. 

This project is a collaboration between UCL Mechanical Engineering, UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, University College London Hospital (UCLH) and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains

Becky Shipley and Tim Baker at MechSpace

About us

Find out more about our CPAP device, the clinical impact it will have in helping Covid-19 patients to breathe, the engineering process behind it and find regular updates on our project's progress. 


Accessing the UCL-Ventura for the NHS

The Department of Health has ordered up to 10,000 UCL-Ventura CPAPs. If you are a healthcare professional in the UK, find out more about obtaining devices for your NHS hospital. This will be of no additional cost to your hospital. 


Accessing UCL-Ventura designs for international use

Our humanitarian intention is to distribute and share the UCL-Ventura device to help public health efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic emergency. Find out how to access it for free internationally.

Our team

Our team

We are an interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineers from UCL, clinicians from UCLH and partners Mercedes-AMG HPP bought together through the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering.

CPAP device in hands

Engineering deep-dive

This breathing aid was produced by engineers within a rapid timeframe – it took fewer than 100 hours from the initial meeting to production of the first device. Find out more about our engineering process. 

The team pose for a photo at UCL

Coverage of our story

Our team's development of CPAP breathing aids has received global coverage. Find out more about our story by reading, watching and listening to some of this coverage. 

Got a question? 

Accessing devices for NHS hospitals (UK) - more information here 

Accessing devices for international use - CPAPcovid19@ucl.ac.uk

Accessing designs and manufacturing instructions - downloads available here

Additional questions and technical support ihecovid19response@ucl.ac.uk

Media inquiries - Mark Greaves, m.greaves@ucl.ac.uk


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