In September of 2017, tech company Zipline began testing drone deliveries for blood transfusions. Now, its collaboration with ride service Uber has become a reality. Since its launch, “Uber for blood” has delivered 5,500 units of blood to rural Rwanda, saving hundreds of lives.
“The work in Rwanda has shown the world what’s possible when you make a national commitment to expand healthcare access with drones and help save lives.” [said Zipline co-founder Keller Rinaudo.]
What initially took some 4 hours of delivery time from major cities now takes only 30 minutes. Simultaneously, hospitals are able to store less blood, lessening waste from spoilt containers. Considering Zipline’s success, the company hopes to begin delivering various other supplies such as sutures and tubes.
“We know who needs medicine, when and where. And now, we can get them that medicine as quickly as possible.” [said Rinaudo.]
With the exponential rise of traffic jams and continued accessibility of drones, Zipline and Uber may have just hit the jackpot.