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UPS and CVS set to deliver prescription medication by drone to a Florida retirement community

CVS and the United Parcel Service (UPS) will use drones to deliver prescription medication to residents in a Florida retirement community that is under lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Starting on May 4th, those living in The Villages will receive their prescriptions from a Matternet’s M2 drone.

The drones will drop off orders at a designated spot outside of the community and an employee will transport the items to each person’s home.

The Villages, which is home to some 135,000 people, is the US’s largest retirement community and has reported 171 cases and 12 deaths during the pandemic.

 

CVS and the United Parcel Service (UPS) will use drones to deliver prescription medication to residents in a Florida retirement community that is under lockdown due to the coronavirus

Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, said: ‘Our new drone delivery service will help CVS provide safe and efficient deliveries of medicines to this large retirement community, enabling residents to receive medications without leaving their homes.’

‘UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting the spread of coronavirus, and this is another way we can support our healthcare customers and individuals with innovative solutions.’

Since the coronavirus made its way to the US earlier this year, drone companies have been looking for new ways to use the technology in order to help limit the spread of the virus.

UPS noted that using the devices enables a fast delivery option for medications that are time-sensitive, all-while supporting social distancing – advice recommended by the Centers of Disease Control that asks people to stay at least six feet apart.

Starting on May 4th, those living in The Villages will receive their prescriptions from a Matternet's M2 drone. The drones will drop off orders at a designated spot outside of the community and an employee will transport the items to each person's home

Starting on May 4th, those living in The Villages will receive their prescriptions from a Matternet’s M2 drone. The drones will drop off orders at a designated spot outside of the community and an employee will transport the items to each person’s home

Jon Roberts, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CVS Health, said: ‘Now more than ever, it’s important that our customers have access to their prescriptions.’

‘In addition to our in-store pickup, free delivery services and drive through pickup, this drone delivery service provides an innovative method to reach some of our customers.’

The program is set to roll out May 4 and the first flights will be less than one half mile and goods will be dropped off at a location near the retirement community.

The project has tasked a human worker with grabbing the medication and then ferrying it to the resident’s door.

UPS and CVS last year announced plans to jointly explore the use of drone delivery. The companies successfully completed their first drone deliveries of medical prescriptions from a CVS pharmacy in Cary, N.C. in November 2019.

Drone delivery is helping people maintain social distancing, but still receive items the need during the pandemic. 

Alphabet’s Wing has teamed up with CVS and FedEx in using drones to deliver goods to the residents of Christianburg, Virginia who are also locked down during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wing was approved to test deliveries in the area last October, but has recently added new vendors to better serve residents during the lockdown.

The firm has made more than 1,000 deliveries in the past two weeks, with toilet paper, coffee and cookies being the most popular.

Wing spokesperson Jonathan Bass said: ‘The technology is particularly useful at a time when people are homebound in many cases and the need to limit human-to-human contact is important.’

In addition ‘to partnerships with FedEx Corp. and the Walgreens drug-store chain, Wing recently began deliveries from a bakery and a coffee shop.’

The service is also helping local businesses flourish in a time where many have been forced to close their doors.

UPS noted that using the devices enables a fast delivery option for medications that are time-sensitive, all-while supporting social distancing

Mockingbird Café has sold 50 percent more pastries in the first weekend of being added to the vendors list, which it says is more than what it sold prior to the outbreak.

Another coffee shop, called Brugh Coffee, says sales of their cold brew via the drone were double than the normal daily in-store purchases.

All items for sale are stocked at the Wing warehouse.

A human worker places the items inside the drone’s carrier, which flies at an altitude of 150 feet while traveling to its destination.

Once it reaches the customer’s home it drops to 23 feet and lowers the cargo box from a rope.

Forbes explained that the cargo capacity is up to three pounds.

Christiansburg is in the vicinity of Wing’s testing zone, where it has been testing drone delivery as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Integration Pilot Program since 2016.

Alphabet's Wing has teamed up with CVS and FedEx in using drones to deliver goods to the residents of Christianburg, Virginia who are also locked down during the coronavirus pandemic

Alphabet’s Wing has teamed up with CVS and FedEx in using drones to deliver goods to the residents of Christianburg, Virginia who are also locked down during the coronavirus pandemic 

As of Monday, there are more than 978,000 cases and over 55, deaths in the US

As of Monday, there are more than 978,000 cases and over 55, deaths in the US

The helicopter-like vehicles are completely autonomous and capable of flying up to 120 km/h (75 mph) using an all-electric power source with zero emissions.

Christianburg declared a local emergency response on April 2 in response to the coronavirus.

The entire state of Virginia has been under a state of emergency since March 12.

It is one of 42 states currently under some type of lockdown, as officials hope the regulations will help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Monday, there are more than 978,000 cases and over 55, deaths in the US.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk