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Zipline’s Keller Rinaudo explains why drone delivery took flight in Rwanda before the U.S.

Drones are the perfect fit for time-critical medical deliveries.

While drone delivery in the United States is unlikely to come to fruition until at least 2020, in Rwanda it’s already under way. The Rwandan government has partnered with California drone startup Zipline to use drones to deliver blood to clinics on demand.

In Rwanda, clinics often don’t have the resources to keep blood stored in reliable storage facilities at specific temperatures. Before the Zipline program, the country primarily depended on cars and motorbikes to get blood to clinics, but due to poor road conditions, those delivery trips could sometimes take hours. With drones, however, Zipline is able to sail above the traffic and arrive at a clinic within 30 minutes of receiving a request.

Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo spoke at An Evening with Code Mobile and shared what other projects he’s moving into, including work in Kenya delivering Holstein bull sperm to families who depend on livestock farming in hard-to-reach parts of the country. Watch his interview with Recode Senior Editor Ina Fried.

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