Oct 22, 2019

UPS drone fleet expands services to CVS and others

Medical supplies delivery via UPS drone. Photo: UPS

UPS announced Monday that it's expanding drone-delivery services to include CVS Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente, wholesale pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen and the University of Utah health system.

The state of play: UPS is hitting the health care business on all sides, from patients to providers and suppliers — all of whom would value faster deliveries on lab testing, prescriptions and medical supplies.

Details: Earlier this month, UPS received Federal Aviation Administration's approval to operate a commercial drone fleet that will carry small metal boxes. UPS expects to see these expansions through by Q4 of this year.

  • For CVS, the drones will carry prescriptions and retail products from stores to customers' homes.
  • At the University of Utah's WakeMed, they would transport health care supplies, medical instruments and documents.
  • Kaiser Permanente plans to use UPS' drones to deliver supplies between buildings at several medical campuses.
  • AmerisourceBergen will use them to transport pharmaceuticals, supplies and records to qualifying medical campuses.

What to watch: It's still uncertain how many drones this will involve. Overall, UPS expects the unmanned aircrafts to cut down a 30-minute truck drive to 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

Go deeper: UPS receives approval to fly commercial drones

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.