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Drone Startup Plans Drug Deliveries to Homes in Salt Lake City

Zipline has signed an agreement with Intermountain Healthcare to drop medicine and other supplies in patients’ yards. 

A Zipline drone in flight.

A Zipline drone in flight.

Photo: Zipline

California drone startup Zipline plans to begin delivering medicine and other supplies to homes in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company, whose fixed-wing drones have been transporting medical supplies to rural clinics in Rwanda and Ghana since 2016, has signed a service agreement with Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare to make deliveries to its patients in the city. Zipline said it expects to make its first deliveries in the spring of 2022 and to reach hundreds per day within four years of launching the service.

“We’re excited to help move the industry beyond the pilot phase and build something that can ladder towards a large-scale commercial operation,” said Zipline general counsel Conor French in an interview Tuesday. The company will be able to reach about 90 percent of homes in the Salt Lake City metro area with its drones, which navigate autonomously by satellite and drop payloads of up to four pounds by parachute, French said.