Location: United States
For some rural communities, keeping products in-stock is unfeasible. The use of drones allows essential medical supplies, such as blood and medication, to be delivered from a central warehouse.
It can be challenging to keep medical centres stocked with all the supplies they may need, especially in rural communities or developing countries. Medical products that have short shelf lives, such as blood products and vaccines, are especially tricky to keep in stock without waste.
Zipline is reinventing medical supply chains by using central distribution centres. These warehouses store any of the supplies local medical services may need, and deliver the supplies on request by drone. Each distribution location can cover an 8 750 square mile area and make hundreds of deliveries each day. By supplying medical supplies on an as-needed basis, money is saved by reducing waste and access to products is guaranteed.
Efforts are being focused on expensive, cold-chain supplies in Africa, including child birth and blood products. In 2016, Zipline partnered with the government in Rwanda and built two distribution centres that supplies hospitals and clinics across the entire country. In 2019, Ghana partnered with Zipline and now has four sites to cover the much larger country. Everdrone is another company using drones in healthcare – The drones are currently being used to deliver defibrillators to 80 000 residents in Sweden when required.