Few years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pointed out the role of drones in delivering consumer goods. As drones become integral part of delivery food and consumer goods, other sectors are exploring their usage too. As a result, now healthcare startups are probing the idea of using drones to deliver medical products.
These start-ups are making commendable progress in their efforts to tap $70 bn dollar global market of healthcare logistics using drone.
Profitability of Drone based Delivery Services to Grow Steadily
Zipline, medical product delivery company based in San Francisco, has been spearheading the initiative. In 2016, the initiative started in Rwanda. In Rwanda, it has now gained access in a national on-demand medical drone network. Drones are delivering around 150 medical products, mostly vaccines and blood, even to the remotest parts of the country. Such prompt delivery of blood has resulted in decline of maternal mortality.
Other companies are delivering medical products through drones in Papua New Guines, Bhutan, and Malawi. On the other hand, Swiss Hospitals are delivering reports of tests on the same day. Going with the flow, Zipline will be expanding its operations in Ghana and then, later this year, North Carolina, US. North Carolina has many out of the way medical facilities. Zipline looks to serve more than 700 mn customers in the next few years.
However, regulators and governments express concerns over allowing drones to roam free in the skies. Drones can collide into other aerial objects, fall out of sky, and raise privacy concerns. Further,
Companies tend to struggle fighting out these issues. However, drones carrying life saving drugs have a different calculation all together. Dismissing the concerns, Ben Marcus, founder of drone technology company AirMap said that healthcare deliveries take place between a limited number of fixed areas and not to just any location or countless doorsteps.
Aerial deliveries by drone are generating revenue despite drone start-ups being a bit timid about profitability.