The San Francisco-based startup Zipline is currently using drones to deliver blood to rural parts of Rwanda for emergency transfusions. In countries where there is little rural infrastructure, it can be hard to get medical supplies to those in need. This company has found a way to overcome these kinds of infrastructure barriers by enlisting a feet of aircraft-style drones.
Zipline began testing the new service last year as a way to support clinics that do not have a reliable way to store blood. With the help of Zipline, the country now stores all of its blood in just two centralized blood banks. When a transfusion is needed, the company will deliver blood via its own fleet of specially designed drones.
While many companies are using drones to deliver consumer products, this initiative demonstrates how the airborne devices could also be used to save the lives of those in need.