Zipline, a medical drone delivery company is currently working with government regulators to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Currently operating in Rwanda and Ghana, Zipline is already making use of drones as a tool for social distancing and their deliveries now happen without a delivery man.
In Ghana, for instance, Zipline’s warehouses hold all emergency stocks of masks and gloves so that they can be delivered to regional hospitals as soon as possible, once there is a demand.
Justin Hamilton, global head of communications, Zipline, had this to say, “We’ve been able to expand the range of services available at much smaller clinics located in areas much further away from the big regional hospitals. In the past, if you needed a certain level of care, the only place you could get it was the hospital. Now, because you can go to a clinic closer to home, that helps free up capacity at the hospital to deal with larger emergencies and make sure that that bed space is reserved for somebody who might need it.”
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“There are tens of millions of Americans with chronic and underlying conditions that require regular medical care, consultations, trips to the hospitals, and specialty pharmaceuticals. Because COVID-19 is going to overwhelm the health system, that means that these chronic care patients can’t go to the hospital, both because they’re at higher risk for infection and death, and because there’s just no, there’s no capacity to help them at the moment. What we’re seeing is, I think, a big surge in the idea of telemedicine.”