Drone

A package with a parachute dropped from a Zipline aircraft in Rwanda. (Courtesy of Zipline)

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Intermountain Healthcare is launching a drone-delivery service that eventually will be able to fly drugs and home care equipment to hundreds of patients’ homes each day in Utah.

Eventually, the delivery service, operated by Intermountain and San Francisco-based Zipline, will be able to “complete hundreds of deliveries each day and be capable of delivering to approximately 90 percent of patient homes in the region,” according to a news statement Thursday by Intermountain.

The service will initially target patients within a 50-mile radius of a distribution center in Salt Lake County, with construction set to begin early in 2022, Intermountain officials said. They plan to begin deliveries by midyear.

“Over time, Intermountain Healthcare plans to expand to deliver a range of medications and products, including prescriptions, specialty pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter items,” the statement read.

The drones will parachute deliveries to patients’ homes; Zipline says its drones can accurately drop packages onto an area “about the size of several parking spaces.”

The company has delivered COVID-19 vaccines via drones in Ghana, and blood in Rwanda. Its first U.S. delivery system was in North Carolina, where it began transporting protective gear and other medical supplies to hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, and said it planned to eventually make home deliveries.

This article is being provided through the Utah News Cooperative. To read the full story, click here.

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