UTAH, Nov. 11, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Drones will be used to deliver prescriptions to Utahns starting in 2022, according to Intermountain Healthcare.
“Zipline, the global instant logistics leader, today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Intermountain Healthcare,” said a news release.
“Together, Zipline and Intermountain Healthcare will deliver prescriptions and medical supplies to patients in the Salt Lake City metro area. The operation is expected to grow over a multi-year period to ultimately complete hundreds of deliveries each day and be capable of delivering to approximately 90 percent of patient homes in the region.”
The two companies will initially focus on delivery of specialty pharmaceuticals and homecare products to patient homes within a 50-mile radius of the Salt Lake-area distribution center. Over time, Intermountain Healthcare plans to expand to deliver a range of medications and products, including prescriptions, specialty pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter items.
Zipline’s automated, on-demand delivery service features a fleet of small, fixed-wing autonomous aircraft, the news release said.
“These aircraft can travel long distances in most weather conditions and safely, gently, and quietly parachute packages to an area about the size of several parking spaces,” it said. “Zipline’s aircraft are entirely electric, and can help reduce vehicle traffic and carbon emissions from medical deliveries in Utah.”
Keller Rinaudo, co-founder and CEO of Zipline, said: “Intermountain Healthcare shares our vision of powering telemedicine with instant logistics. Patients can connect with providers from the home, and then receive the medications and supplies they need in a matter of minutes, directly to their doorsteps.”
Zipline and Intermountain Healthcare will begin construction in early 2022 and plan to begin deliveries by midyear. Zipline currently operates at multinational scale in Ghana and Rwanda, with plans to soon launch operations in Japan and Nigeria. After five years of operations, Zipline recently announced it has completed more than 200,000 commercial deliveries.