The cold chain system is the most important aspect for the transport and storage of life-saving medications, vaccines, viable organs, and blood for people around the globe. But, even in the most developed countries, this system can be very difficult without the proper technology.
Remote locations and third-world countries suffer the most when it comes to cold chain delivery and timelines. With finite resources and unprecedented barriers both political and economic, it takes a few creative minds and new technology to make the almost impossible a new standard in healthcare logistics.
Drones usually have negative cogitations when it comes to their use in African nations. But Zipline drones are changing our perspective entirely. Devices that were once used for surveillance and war are now being used to enrich and save lives.
Currently, Zipline services are using their resources along with traditional cold chain technology like insulated transport solutions similar to the Haier insulated transport cooler. These fully autonomous drones were tested in Rwanda, a partnership program with the African country, and UPS in 2016 helped launch this service officially.
The most common medical delivery item in Rwanda is blood. In remote hospitals and medical offices, it is difficult to have donated blood stored safely. The only solution is to have it delivered. In unpredictable conditions, distance, and heat traditional transport services are not always safe. Life-saving blood and medication have a much higher risk of spoiling before reaching their destination.
Zipline drones can make up to 500 deliveries a day quickly and safely with minimal personnel from two hubs in Rwanda alone. Other African countries such as Tanzania and Ghana are also training personnel and putting legislation in place to adopt this safe method of transport services.
Healthcare worker displays recently drone delivered blood by Zipline
Currently, in Canada we have a similar struggle transporting medicine, vaccines, and blood to northern communities and reserves. Our medical professionals make it work with our creative solutions. Recently with the Covid-19 pandemic healthcare workers in Canada have used Chilly Moose Rotomolded Coolers and Portable Fridge-Freezers to deliver the Covid-19 Vaccine to immunization centres in remote areas with great success.
We may see Zipline drone-type services in Canada soon changing healthcare logistics in our country forever. For now, though we are in good hands with companies like 360 Medical Inc. who supply our healthcare workers with cold chain systems to store and transport medical goods safely across Canada.