Medicines to reach even sooner in remote locations of India. Zipline, a US-based logistics firm, will deliver emergency medicines and critical care across the state of Maharashtra with the use of autonomous drones. Zipline’s entry into the Indian market comes after its collaboration with the Maharashtra government. The Serum Institute of India (SII) will support this initiative through a grant system. Moreover, Zipline has already established itself as a prominent medical aid provider in Rwanda.
“Millions across the world die each year because they can’t get the medicine they need when they want it,” says Keller Rinaudo, the CEO of Zipline. “Instant drone delivery can help solve that problem. We hope to ensure that millions of people have on-demand, instant access to blood, vaccines and critical medicines they need to stay healthy and alive.”
The service is expected to begin in early 2020. It has become a part of the state government’s vision to establish universal, seven-days-a-week help for each of its 120 million citizens by giving them access to medicines via drones. Also, the plan initially would be to establish near about 10 distribution centers across the state over the next few years. At the beginning of the operation, there will be two distribution centers located near Pune and Nandurbar to provide public health facilities. The operations in these two distribution areas will be financed by the SII. However, the future distribution centers will be financed by the Maharashtra government and other private and philanthropic partners.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fandavis said, “Maharashtra has one of the best healthcare systems in India, but while we celebrate our successes, we must also recognise that we have much more work to do to create universal access to critical healthcare for all.” Talking about the partnership, Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo said: “We’re proud to partner with the government of Maharashtra and the Serum Institute of India to ensure that millions of people have on-demand, instant access to the blood, vaccines and critical medicines they need to stay healthy and alive.” Apart from Maharashtra, Telangana’s skies will also see drones delivering medicines.