Cardinal Health partnering with San Francisco unicorn on drone delivery pilot program

Zipline delivery service via flyzipline.com

Cardinal Health Inc. plans to test drone delivery to a pharmacy customer with San Francisco unicorn Zipline Inc.

The aim is to improve to-the-second precision of deliveries, especially for urgent orders of medications and supplies, but the autonomous aircraft also can bring cost savings compared with trucking, a Cardinal spokesman said. In recent years the Dublin-based healthcare giant has made large investments in software to increase end-to-end visibility in its distribution network.

Since its first flights in Rwanda five years ago, Zipline has made more than 200,000 deliveries in four countries, including shipments of Covid-19 vaccines and other emergency medical supplies in Ghana last year. In October it signed its first partnership with a U.S. hospital system, Intermountain Health in Utah.

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Story excerpt provided by Columbus Inno.

Written by Carrie Ghose.

Originally published November 16, 2021.

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