Zipline Drones to the Rescue

Zipline Drones to the Rescue

April 15, 2018

Zipline, which launched its drone delivery service for life-saving blood supplies in Rwanda in October 2016, now reveals the next generation of autonomous drones, the fastest commercial drones on earth.

With about a 30 minute delivery time, blood can now quickly reach a population of 10 million people who utilize hospitals and clinics across the rugged and mountainous country.  Drones are launched from a distribution center, and the fixed-wing planes cruise at speeds of about 101 km/h to their destinations where the boxed blood is then parachuted to the ground.

With a top speed of 128 km/h, they are four times faster than traditional quadcopters, and their range is much greater.  The new drone will make it possible to launch a fulfillment order within one minute of its receipt, as compared to the previous ten minutes, and the number of daily delivery flights will increase from 50 to 500.

Zipline, whose logistics were mapped with help from UPS, has saved many lives since its inception by delivering critical blood in a timely way.

This post is based on two articles: DroneLife.com’s 1 Minute Fulfillment. 101 KPH Delivery. Zipline Announces New Drones, by Miriam McNabbon, April 4, 2018, Continue reading

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Medical Supplies Plagued by Shortage

Medical Supplies Plagued by Shortage

March 20, 2018

Hurricane Maria highlighted a growing issue with medical supplies. The pharmaceutical industry is plagued by quality issues, manufacturing problems that are kept secret, and supply chain disruptions.

In previous posts, we talked about hospitals’ responses to the IV bag shortage. But according to the FDA, Hurricane Maria’s damage to the production infrastructure on Puerto Rico affected dozens of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Months later, 10 drugs are still in short supply.

This post is based on the CBS News article, Why so many medicines are in short supply months after Hurricane Maria, by Walecia Konrad, Feb 12, 2018. Image source: Peopleimages / Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. What are the considerations a pharmaceutical company should contemplate when choosing a manufacturing location?

Guidance: Students should review location analysis, manufacturing strategies, and quality management.  If there is time or perhaps a homework assignment, students could be asked to research the pharmaceutical industry for the suppliers of, and demand for, IV saline or another generic medicine.  Consider assigning a two-page report: page one is background on the locations, supply chain network, quality issues for their assigned medicine; on page two, recommendations to improve quality, change locations, identify Continue reading

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