Innovation That Matters

The CURA project | Photo source Squint/Opera

A rapid deployment ICU pod inside a shipping container

Architecture & Design

A team of designers and engineers have developed an ICU that includes biocontainment and can be used to rapidly expand hospitals

Spotted: As the global fight against COVID-19 accelerates and many hospitals run out of space, it has become imperative to construct new medical facilities, particularly intensive care units (ICUs), as quickly as possible. Working as part of an international task-force, Italian architects Carlo Ratti and Italo Rota have come up with a design that may be able to help. 

The architects have constructed a biocontainment pod inside a shipping container. The pod can be added to existing hospitals as needed, and will rapidly expand their capacity. The new pods have been dubbed Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments (CURA, Latin for ‘cure’), and are designed to be quickly deployed anywhere they are needed. The first prototype is being built in Milan, one of the cities hardest hit by the pandemic. 

Each CURA pod would contain all the medical equipment needed for two COVID-19 intensive-care patients and include a ventilation system that generates negative pressure inside, in order to prevent contaminated air from escaping. The pods can be connected to each other by an inflatable corridor, and installed as rapidly as a hospital tent.

Around the world, companies have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic with numerous solutions. Some of the innovations already covered at Springwise include a smartwatch that can measure infection rates and an app that helps people avoid checkout lines.

Explore more: Architecture & Design Innovations | Health & Wellness Innovations



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