CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments) is an open-source non-profit project, aimed to convert shipping containers into plug-in care units ready for the corona virus pandemic.
The project – design by Carlo Ratti Associati with Italo Rota – involved an international team of architects, engineers, doctors, military experts and NGOs.
The CURA units could be as fast to mount as a hospital tent, but as safe as an isolation ward, thanks to biocontainment.
The first prototype of CURA, developed in Italy, was sponsored by UniCredit bank and installed in Turin.
The name CURA is the acronym for Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments, but it also means “cure” in Italian.
CURA is a compact Intensive-Care pod for patients with respiratory infections, hosted in a 20-foot intermodal container with biocontainment (thanks to negative pressure).
Each unit works autonomously and can be shipped anywhere. Individual pods 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. Some pods can be placed in proximity to a hospital (e.g. in parking lots) to expand the ICU capacity, while others could be used to create self-standing field hospitals of varying sizes.
Each CURA pod would contain all the medical equipment needed for two covid-19 intensive-care patients, including ventilators and intravenous fluids stands. All units can be connected by an inflatable corridor.
CURA pods are conceived as a ready-to-use solution. Shipping containers can easily be moved through different modes of transport – from ship to rail to truck – and re-used in different parts of the world, adapting to the needs and capacity of the local healthcare infrastructure.
List of people and organizations who have contributed thus far to CURA (in chronological order):
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati with Italo Rota (Design and Innovation), Humanitas Research Hospital (Medical Engineering), Policlinico di Milano (Medical Consultancy), Jacobs (Alberto Riva – Master Planning, Design, Construction and Logistics Support Services), MIT Senseable City Lab (Research), Studio FM Milano (Visual Identity & Graphic Design), Squint/Opera (Digital Media), IEC Engineering (Fulvio Sabato – Safety and Certifications), Alex Neame of Team Rubicon UK (Logistics), Ivan Pavanello of Projema (MEP Engineering), Dr. Maurizio Lanfranco of Ospedale Cottolengo (Medical Consultancy), Philips (Medical Equipment Supply)
With the support of the World Economic Forum: COVID-19 Action Platform, and Cities, Infrastructure and Urban Services Platform