- TitleCEO and cofounder
Conversations about drone technology fall across a wide spectrum. The devices are both tools of lethal warfare and innocuous deliverers of consumer goods. But Rinaudo and his company, Zipline, are using them for a far more humanitarian goal: delivering essential medical products in some of the world’s poorest nations. Rinaudo told the audience at Fortune’s recent Brainstorm Health conference that Rwanda is now delivering 60% of its national blood supply outside of the capital city of Kigali via Zipline drones (the figure has since risen to about 70%)—and many of the beneficiaries are new mothers suffering from hemorrhage. What’s more, Zipline’s technology is precise enough to literally drop off medical supplies to individual plots with no need to land, take off, or generally traverse precipitous terrain. It’s a 21st-century solution to medicine’s “last mile” problem—i.e., actually getting the product to the people. Zipline recently raised $190 million at a reported $1.2 billion valuation. Rinaudo says the cash infusion will be used in part to help set up some 2,600 health care delivery hubs in Rwanda and Ghana by the end of the year.
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