More than two billion people lack adequate access to essential medical products, often due to challenging terrain and gaps in infrastructure, meaning more than 2.9 million children under the age of five die every year, according to Silicon Valley startup Zipline.
It uses a drone or ‘Zip’ to deliver medicine to areas inaccessible or difficult to get to by road and is set to provide blood to 20 of Rwanda’s hospitals, starting this summer.
The company was founded in 2011 by Will Hetzler, Keenan Wyrobek and former professional rock climber Keller Rinaudo. It has raised around $18m (£12m) from funders including Yahoo founder Jerry Yang and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Deliveries can be ordered via text message and the drones can travel up to 75 miles on one battery charge, navigating via GPS and the participating country’s mobile phone network.