UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


UCL-Ventura featured in 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' parliament report

2 June 2020

UCL-Ventura is a case study for how technology is supporting the COVID-19 emergency response.

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution was created by Alan Mak MP in 2016 to support and promote technology in Parliament. The group also works to build a large non-parliamentary community of business leaders, academics and other individuals interested in technology policy to connect with Westminster. 

The 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' refers to the digital era where communication and connectivity are accelerated. This period is marked by breakthroughs in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and the Internet of Things. 

In May 2020, the parliamentary group released their latest report, which focuses on the impact of technology in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. It includes a foreword by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP: 

"It is hard to imagine the past few months without the technology that has been keeping businesses running, helping families to remain connected and allowing our democratic institutions to perform their vital role".
"[Technology] has been one of the integral pillars of our battleplan, helping us to stay one step ahead of the virus".

In March, UCL engineers, UCLH clinicians and Mercedes Formula 1 collaborated to design a device that helps patients with COVID-19 breathe more easily. The UCL-Ventura CPAP device gained regulatory approval in the UK and has been distributed to NHS hospitals across England, the devolved nations and crown dependencies. In April, the designs were made globally available at no cost to help other nations respond to COVID-19. 

The project is featured on pages 42-43 of the report. You can read it here online.