An international task force has developed a concept for modular intensive care pods to increase hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients.

They are called CURA, Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments and are specially designed for respiratory illness. 

The task force says they could be as fast to mount as a hospital tent, but as safe as an isolation ward. They will use negative pressure for biocontainment.

They are made from 20ft shipping containers and can be transported and set up anywhere, either as an extension to a hospital, or as its own freestanding field hospital. 

Individual pods work autonomously and are connected by an inflatable structure to create multiple modular configurations (from 4 beds to over 40), which can be deployed in just a few hours.

The ‘open-source’ project is being undertaken by a collaboration of designers, engineers, doctors, military experts and NGO’s, led by Italian architects Carlo Ratti Associati and sponsored by European bank UniCredit.

The first prototype is currently being built in Milan.