Zipline in Utah: Delivering Prescriptions and Medical Supplies to Patients in Salt Lake City

Zipline in Utah Zipline medical Zipline in Nigeria Covid-19 vaccines by droneZipline and Intermountain Healthcare Partner for On-Demand Delivery: operating prescription delivery by Zipline in Utah.

By DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Global instant logistics leader Zipline announced today the formation of a first-of-its-kind partnership with Intermountain Healthcare. Zipline and Intermountain Healthcare will collaborate in order to deliver prescriptions and medical supplies to patients in the Salt Lake City metro area. Over a multi-year period, the project is expected to expand to ultimately complete hundreds of deliveries each day, able to deliver to approximately 90 percent of patient homes in the region.

By utilizing Zipline’s automated, on-demand delivery service, Intermountain Healthcare will have the means to render healthcare more accessible and convenient for its patients. The partnership will start by focusing on the delivery of specialty pharmaceuticals and homecare products to the homes of patients within a 50-mile radius of the Salt Lake-area distribution center. Intermountain Healthcare plans to gradually expand this service to include the delivery of a range of medications and products, such as 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 Intermountain President and CEO Marc Harrison, MD. “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 utilizes a fleet of small, fixed-wing autonomous aircraft, capable of traveling long distances in most weather conditions and safely, gently, and quietly parachuting packages to an area about the size of several parking spaces. These fully electric aircraft are able to help decrease vehicle traffic and carbon emissions from medical deliveries in Utah.

“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,” said Zipline co-founder and CEO Keller Rinaudo. “For example, a cancer patient could receive her medication without ever leaving her home. Or a single parent could get his child’s antibiotics without a trip to the pharmacy. Instant access to care is not just about convenience. It comes down to making healthcare more equitable, efficient, and reliable for people, regardless of where they live or their circumstances.”

The partners are set to begin construction in early 2022, and are planning to initiate deliveries by midyear. Zipline made headlines this March when it began its delivery of COVID-19 vaccines via drone in Ghana. The company recently secured $250 million in funding in order to expand into new geographies and industries.

The two companies’ CEOs will discuss the new partnership on November 17, during a panel at Reuters Total Health Virtual Global Conference

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.