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article imageUPS drone delivers medical prescription direct to a residence

By Ken Hanly     Nov 6, 2019 in Technology
Flight Forward a subsidiary of the UPS has just completed what it claims is the first drone delivery market that delivered prescription medication directly to a customer's home by drone.
On the first of November, UPS flew a medication from a pharmacy in North Carolina to a home, and then made a second delivery to a retirement community. The deliveries were made in a partnership with CVS Pharmacy and Matternet, a drone logistics company.
The delivery was made autonomously but with a remote operator monitoring the delivery who could intervene if the drone encountered any problems. On arriving at the home, the Matternet M2 drone hovered about 20 feet above the property and then lowered the package via a cable.
The hope is that the drone deliveries will make it easier for customers with limited mobility to get their packages easier.
An announcement of the delivery with details was made in a recent article: "UPS (NYSE:UPS) subsidiary UPS Flight Forward Inc. (UPSFF) and CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS.N) subsidiary CVS Pharmacy, Inc. today announced the successful completion of the first revenue-generating drone delivery of a medical prescription from a CVS pharmacy directly to a consumer’s home. This was followed by another delivery of a medical prescription to a second customer in a nearby retirement community. Both flights occurred on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, using the M2 drone system by UPS partner and drone systems developer Matternet."
Wing earlier made deliveries
Wing a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google) has already made deliveries in Virginia: "Wing’s drone delivery service is now live in Virginia. The Alphabet subsidiary is now delivering snacks and health care products to residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, after receiving approval from the government and teaming up with major players like FedEx and Walgreens. Wing says it’s the first commercial drone delivery service in the US."
An article on April 23rd this year noted: "Wing achieved a significant milestone today, becoming the first drone delivery company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). "
UPS has also made prior deliveries
The UPS has been operating a pilot drone delivery project at WakeMed Hospital in North Carolina since this March. UPS claims it has now made 1,500 deliveries. However, the Flight Forward service includes prescription medications being flown directly to residential homes something the WakeMed project has not done.
Regulatory approval is slow
Drone deliveries beyond the operator's line of sight have been slow to get FAA authorization. UPS only got its approval in late September. Wing was an early entry getting approval in April. Now that both companies have approval they will be able to gain experience in the real world at making drone deliveries and deal with any problems that arise.
More about UPS, drone deliveries, Wing company
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