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Zipline

Drone delivery of vital medical supplies

Sector: Futurehealth
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Zipline's mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. In order to achieve this, the organisation has built the world's fastest and most reliable delivery drone, the world's largest autonomous logistics network.

It took drone delivery pioneer Zipline, which specializes in sending medical supplies autonomously over long distances, nearly three years to create its first countrywide network. Launched in Rwanda in 2016, the San Francisco–based company now transports roughly 75% of the country’s blood supply outside its capital city, Kigali.

In May 2019, Zipline moved into Ghana—and in less than a year reached 2,000 hospitals, covering 12 million people. “We knew how to work with [the country’s] civil aviation regulator, integrate with the public healthcare supply chain, set up distribution centers, and run maintenance [on the drones],” says cofounder and CEO Keller Rinaudo.

Zipline also develops its own hardware, avionics, and flight-control algorithms, which allows it to iterate on its technology. (It debuted a new drone model at the end of 2019.) The company is now applying its knowledge around the globe: It’s launching in India later this year, and has recently been tapped by Novant Health to bring medical supplies to areas in North Carolina.

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