Novant Health uses drones to deliver medical supplies between hospitals

Novant Health launched the first hospital emergency drone program to help its COVID-19 pandemic response. 

In a partnership with Zipline, a logistics service that provides drone flight services, the Charlotte, N.C., health system will deliver medical supplies contactlessly to front-line workers in its 15 hospitals and nearly 700 locations. 

It will start by delivering items only to hospitals in the Charlotte area, but plans to expand beyond Charlotte over the next two years. Initial flights will travel 20 miles to 30 miles roundtrip. 

The first delivery will be to the Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center. 

The Federal Aviation Administration granted Novant Health a waiver to operate the drones, making it the first hospital to receive such a waiver. 

The drones, which can carry about 4 pounds of cargo, can each fly up to 80 miles per hour. 


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