theweatherelectric writes: The electronic control unit used in Formula 1 cars has been adapted for use in hospitals. James Allen writes, "As a result of a chance conversation between a McLaren engineer and a paediatrician, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has been trialling the ECU in a children’s intensive care ward; the idea is that the F1-derived unit can measure all the key signs from the child, sense trends and detect developing problems earlier than the electronics previously used by the NHS. The unit normally measures oil pressures, brake temperatures and the like. Here, a lightly adapted version of the F1 ECU is being used to measure things like heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure in an ill child. And, inevitably, it is far more capable than the units currently used in hospitals; it can take a heart cardiogram 125 times a minute, instead of once an hour, for example." Birmingham Children’s Hospital is seeking a further £2 million to continue the trial and extend it across the hospital.