Zipline Services (a California start-up) test launched its drone blood delivery services to hospitals in Rwanda, in 2016. Now they are expanding into Tanzania a larger prospect and market – along with larger challenges and logistics to tackle.
According to report by MIT, the service includes a market of 1,000 heath facilities “covering 10 million people” in remote / rural areas.
Wired accounts a successful story by Zipline about helping a recent birthmother whom had a C-section and bleeding was continuous and couldn’t be controlled. The doctor called on Zipline to deliver needed blood to her. The deliver took 15 minutes and the mother was saved.
“Each drone needed just 15 minutes to reach the hospital, where it dropped its payload on a pre-determined landing zone. Doctors grabbed the supplies and used them to stabilize the 24-year-old patient.”
And now, the entry to Tanzania poses expansion related logistical challenges. But Zipline says that they are up for the challenge.
“The Tanzanian government wants to make as many as 2,000 daily deliveries from four distribution centers serving an area roughly the size of Texas and Louisiana”, Wired reported.
It’s a lot of distance to cover for an “on-demand” service for “temperature critical” product, such as blood.
But Zipline seems confident they can carry out the details.