How Zipline delivers medical products by drone
There’s a new way of last-mile delivery of medical products to patients and pharmacies made possible by a few feats of engineering.
San Francisco-based Zipline and its fleet of Zip delivery drones now fly for Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), Novant Health and Magellan Rx Management from a hub in North Carolina.
The new distribution center in Kannapolis, North Carolina – think of it as a medical treatment warehouse combined with a drone airport – is where orders are picked, packed and released, reaching drop-off areas in a 7,800 square mile area in as little as 15 minutes.
Zip drones have a round-trip range of around 100 miles, can cruise at speeds of over 60 mph, and operate in good weather, even in high winds. Zipline’s FAA Part 135 air carrier certification allows it to make the longest-running on-demand commercial drone deliveries in the United States
Since its first commercial flight in 2016, Zipline said its Zip drones have now traveled 18 million miles, delivering millions of doses of vaccines, units of blood and essential and life-saving medicines to thousands of healthcare facilities. serving more than 25 million people across three countries.
Here’s how it works from start to finish, with innovative features designed for speed, efficiency and security: