First delivery drones commissioned to transport blood to hospitals in Rwanda
We have seen drones deliver packages from Amazon and Burrito, but these delivery drones commissioned in Rwanda are for real and backed by the government for a purpose. Developed by Zipline – a San Francisco-based startup in collaboration with the government, the drones called Zips will be used to deliver blood to patients in Western Rwanda. The rural region has 21 transfusing centers but it has remained aloof of appropriate healthcare because of poor accessibility.
To change that for good, the world’s first nation drone delivery system has been designed. The system comprises 15 custom-built drone that can fly up to 150 km (round trip) carrying up to 1.5 kg of payload (blood in this case).
Under the drone delivery system that is perfected over a period of several months, hospitals in the Western Rwanda can order blood through a text message or phone call. The drones take off with the payload (in all weather conditions), and have it delivered in the location in under 15 minutes. The system is designed to work closely with hospital that require blood deliver. The drones help blood reach remotest of location with ease to patients in need.
The first distribution center for the drone delivery system is set up in the Muhanga region close to an existing medical warehouse.
While many countries have held stringent views regarding drones, Rwanda has been a forward thinking country and has embraced the new trend. The country formalized drone regulations earlier this year, and is already setting up a drone airport that should be ready by 2020.
According to reports, Zipline is planning on delivering medicines and other medical supplies in Rwanda. The company is also expected to build drone delivery systems for other countries including USA.