Drones To Deliver Medical Supplies In Rwanda

Our team is constantly looking at what the future holds for those who want to make the world a better place. What's certain is that human centered use cases will continue to lead the way in the development of emerging technology. One California startup, Zipline International, is quite literally going the distance with it's medical delivery drone that aims to help thousands of people in remote parts of Rwanda by delivering blood and medical supplies from above. 

Flying Over Obstacles 

In what is know as the "land of a thousands hills," access to medical supplies is a challenge and the time it takes to deliver this type of package can mean the difference between life and death. According to Zipline's website, over 2 Billion people lack access to critical medical products, often due to challenging terrains and infrastructure for distribution. Zips can deliver up to three pounds of medical supplies, and travel up to 75 miles, at 100mph, on a single battery charge! This makes it possible for packages to be delivered within 30 minutes eliminating the need for onboard insulation, refrigeration, and a pilot. Each package is dropped within the space of two parking spaces. 

Evolving What It Means To Do Good

A large part of the success of this service is possible through the partnership Zipline has created with the Rwandan Government. This raises the question about how social impact is made. Do you have to be a nonprofit or NGO to change the world for the better? No. In fact, this is a great example of how a private company backed by strong investors (Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, and Private Investors) can work with government, recruit the right talent (former Nasa, Boeing, SpaceX), create value through innovation, and differentiate itself in the market. For organizations large and small who want to make an impact while generating revenue, we recommend downloading the Models of Impact Toolkit or contacting our team for more information. 

Innovation

 

Innovation can happen in a variety of ways: novel scientific discoveries, repurposing existing technology, devising new business models, and bringing a product or service to a new location or population that was underserved. At verynice we take our partners through a variety of exercises that help uncover hidden value and better understand stakeholder's needs. Whether it's developing a new product or looking for ways to reframe the use of existing tools, learning is core to the process. How can you leverage these definitions of innovation to iterate or pivot in your product or service? 

The Future of Drone Technology

Zipline is one example of a company using drones for good. Whether you are working on a mapping project to visualize resource scarcity, or delivering much needed medical payloads, it should be clear that drones stand to change many of the ways we help make the world a better place. It's also important to address the barriers that are keeping us from fully leveraging unmanned aviation vehicles. At the top of that list is the question of safety and companies like AirMap are working to make it safer for us to do so. With so many opportunities for leveraging new technology, the next few years are shaping up to be full of surprises. Our VR Causes team recently took a drone into the Andes Mountains of Chile for use in storytelling. How can you use drone technology for good? We're ready to start that conversation.