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Starting next year drones will deliver drugs to Utahans

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Salt Lake City, Utah — According to Intermountain Healthcare, starting next year drones will deliver drugs and supplies to Utahns’ homes.

The first-of-its-kind drone delivery system will be made possible by a partnership between Intermountain and logistics company Zipline.

In a news release, Intermountain hoped to be able to complete hundreds of deliveries each day and be capable of delivering to approximately 90 percent of patient homes in the region.

With the use of Zipline’s drones, Intermountain said at first they will deliver 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.

“Making access to healthcare faster and more convenient will lead to better health outcomes for our patients,” said Marc Harrison, MD, president, and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. “And with Zipline, we’re making the idea of true care at home a reality for many of our patients.”

Zipline’s automated, on-demand delivery service features a fleet of small, fixed-wing autonomous aircraft, according to the statement. 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.

Zipline and Intermountain Healthcare will begin construction in early 2022.

 

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