For many, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised, the use of drones during the COVID-19 pandemic can help ensure adequate social distancing and speedy delivery of critical medicine and supplies. The technology can facilitate significant health benefits for those sheltering in place by eliminating the need to visit crowded stores and reducing the risk of virus transmission. Not only that, after the pandemic ends, the services will continue to benefit those living in underserved rural areas and those with poor or constrained mobility.
Medical facilities are also realizing the benefits of drone delivery technology. In North Carolina, the services have been tested by UPS to deliver critical medical supplies. The program has successfully completed over 1,000 supply deliveries to a single hospital in Raleigh and UPS plans to expand to over 20 hospitals and was recently permitted by the FAA for a limited expansion across the entire U.S.