The key to any successful operation is good infrastructure, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the field of medicine. Where once upon a time there was no 24-hour number that you could call to get medical attention, now we have 911, which you don't even have to stay on the line for someone to be sent to check on you.
Not only that, but ambulances are ready and traveling around the clock to make sure they can get you to the ER as fast as possible, while pharmacies and doctor's offices are readily-accessible in every major public area. In short, we've built up a pretty effective way of making sure you get the help you need before it's too late.
However, this is a privilege that plenty of other countries aren't lucky enough to have. Infrastructure like that isn't cheap, and as a result, there are tons of places worldwide where the demand for treatment and care outweigh the medical community's ability to get it to them.
Thankfully, a Silicon Valley robotics company has teamed up with the Rwandan Health Ministry to develop something that's easing the problem in a big way: flying robots that can deliver medicine.
Zipline, a robotics company specializing in developing drones, has been contracted by the Rwandan Health Ministry to provide flying drones that can be used to deliver blood and medicine to people across the nation, and the results are impressive.
Over the past year, the drones have delivered over 5,500 units of blood to 12 different Rwandan hospitals, and often in emergency situations too. The process couldn't be easier: the hospital will order the blood or medicine through Zipline's website or a WhatsApp message, the drone will soon fly out, drop the package off via parachute, and return to base for its next delivery.
Zipline is now planning to expand into Tanzania, and are apparently going to contract with the Tanzanian government to build one of the largest drone delivery networks in the world. For their part, the Rwandan Health Ministry has nothing but positive things to say about the group, with a spokesperson stating that:
"The ministry of health and Rwanda Biomedical Center are happy to use such innovative technology to reduce the average delivery time from four hours to less than 45 minutes, with quick and reliable delivery [of] blood products."