North Carolina Receives Its First Drone Healthcare Deliveries

Staff members prepare a drone for the delivery of medical supplies.

Photo: RUTH MCDOWALL/AFP/Getty Images

North Carolina Received Its First Long-Range Healthcare Deliveries Using Drones this Tuesday, as a new effort to promote remote health care and transform the patient experience.

Three US health care organizations, Novant Health, Magellan Rx Management and Cardinal Health will work independently with drone delivery company Zipline to deliver products from a distribution center in Kannapolis, according to a press release from The Hill.

“We envision a future where goods are transported almost instantly,” said Zipline founder and CEO Keller Rinaudo. “Together with Novant Health, Magellan Rx Management and Cardinal Health, we are making it happen. In the process, we are setting the standard for care and convenience with instant logistics.”

Automated delivery service allows organizations and patients to receive their deliveries in as little as 15 minutes and is capable of serving customers within a 7,800-square-mile area, according to the press release.

Cardinal Health, a distributor of pharmaceutical, medical and laboratory products, is providing certain pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in an effort to mitigate the risk of inventory stockouts as well as reduce barriers for patients to access medical needs.

Magellan Rx Management says it is the first and only national pharmacy benefit manager to use drones to deliver prescription drugs, including specialty drugs that treat chronic and complex conditions, directly to patients’ homes.

Novant Health, a network of nearly 800 locations, first partnered with Zipline in 2020 to launch the nation’s first emergency drone logistics operation for pandemic response, making it the first hospital to receive FDA approval. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for contactless delivery of personnel. protective equipment and critical medical supplies.

The companies are now working together to expand specialty drug delivery to Novant Health patients.

“North Carolina is the first to fly and Zipline’s work is taking us to new heights,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “This innovative partnership will increase access to health care for our community.”

The announcement comes after the FAA granted Zipline Part 135 certification, which allows it to operate as a small airline in the United States. He is only the fourth drone operator to receive this certification in the United States.

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Amazon announced it will begin drone deliveries in the US to customers later this year