A California startup is deploying a fleet of drones to deliver blood in rural Rwanda.

Read the full article at: www.wired.com

An innovative drone delivery service, called Zipline, will focus on delivering blood for treating severe trauma or hemorrhaging after childbirth, a frequent cause of maternal death in Africa. Storing blood is difficult in regions with spotty electricity, and a lot of the blood and medicine stockpiled in rural areas goes to waste. Storing such things centrally and deploying them as needed makes far more sense.

The Rwandan government, which has embraced drone technology and recently approved remarkably progressive guidelines for its use, is working with Zipline to measure the success of the venture.

The drones use simple materials, are battery powered, fly automatically to preprogrammed destinations, can operate within a 45 mile radius, and have a host of other features that make them perfect for medical assistance in Rwanda.

Using drones for humanitarian projects could foster greater acceptance of technology many people associate withwarfare, surveillance, and idiots flying too close tofirefighters and pilots. And testing that technology in a country like Rwanda, which has fewer regulations and less cluttered airspace than the US, could hasten advances and create a model for “just in time” delivery of medical supplies that others, including the US and Europe, could follow.

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