UPS to expand fleet of drones to hospitals across the country

Posted on: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 By: KorchekStaff

United Parcel Service will begin transferring medical samples and devices between facilities at Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health, among other hospitals, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, UPS announced Oct. 21 that it will work with Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente to evaluate how the drones move medical supplies between that health system's 39-hosptial network. 

UPS, which won Federal Aviation Administration approval for its fleet of drones to deliver healthcare supplies earlier in October, also signed an agreement with CVS to analyze prescription deliveries made via drone.

By reaching the CVS deal, UPS's drone unit could transition from business-to-business transactions into consumer deliveries, company officials told WSJ. UPS also announced Oct. 21 that it is working with AmerisourceBergen. Drones will begin to deliver some pharmaceuticals, supplies and records from AmerisourceBergen's warehouse to hospital facilities.

UPS kicked off its drone delivery service for medical supplies in March, partnering with Raleigh, N.C.-based WakeMed Health & Hospitals. Since transporting supplies via drone, the health system has cut delivery time to three minutes compared to 19 minutes.

To solidify itself in the healthcare market, UPS also announced Oct. 21 that it has created a digitally enabled healthcare network, known as UPS Premier. The product portfolio will focus on using sensors and tracking technology to handle medical supplies.

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