Drones are revolutionizing the medical industry. In Rwanda, drones are delivering blood to health centers. Remote clinics often have difficulty getting the blood required. In other places, poor road conditions cause delivery trucks to be unreliable. Zipline, a Bay Area drone startup, is a blood-delivering service that can get the blood to clinics much faster and at a similar cost to current delivery alternatives. Using drones will give doctors access to rarer blood types, which remote hospitals usually do not have in stock.
More than 650,000 units of blood are used every year in Rwandan hospitals. A majority of the blood goes to new mothers with post-partum bleeding and children with malaria-induced anaemia.
Doctors in clinics can request blood via text, and the blood will arrive in about 30 minutes. The drones are loaded at the distribution center. Once at the clinic, the packages, equipped with parachutes, are dropped onto a target area at the clinic. The drones, which carry up to three pounds, can travel 94 miles round trip and can fly at up to 75 miles per hour. The drones will work with 21 clinics in the western half of Rwanda and make between 50 and 150 deliveries each day. Later, the deliveries may be expanded to include medical supplies and vaccines in addition to the blood deliveries.
Via: The Washington Post
Want to learn more about drones in the medical industry? We recently wrote about using drones to deliver lab specimen.