Mayo Clinic to provide drone delivery to hospital-at-home patients

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic plans to deliver medications and supplies by drones to hospital-at-home patients.

Drone delivery company Zipline said May 21 that it will use its electric, autonomous drones to drop off items from the hospital to a patient's home. For example, a hospital-at-home patient could see a physician via a virtual visit then have a drone deliver a prescription a few minutes later.

"This innovative use of drones not only reduces costs by minimizing the need for traditional transportation but also expedites care, ensuring that essential medical supplies and medications reach patients promptly," Michael Maniaci, MD, chief clinical officer of advanced care at home for Mayo Clinic, told Becker's. "By leveraging drones, Mayo Clinic enhances its ability to provide timely, efficient, and high-quality healthcare, ultimately improving patient outcomes and satisfaction."

The program will start with Mayo Clinic's hospital-at-home program in Jacksonville, Fla., and general logistics in Florida and Minnesota, with future expansions possible for Mayo locations in Wisconsin and Arizona, Dr. Maniaci said. The delivery will likely start with basic supplies such as bandages, bottles and tubes, before moving on to items that require more regulatory approval, including lab work and medications. The drone platform could go live as soon as 2025.

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