Flying High: Quest Teams With Las Vegas Walmart To Deliver COVID-19 Tests By Drone
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … a COVID-19 test from Quest Diagnostics.
Las Vegas residents will be the first to try an experimental delivery approach that flies COVID-19 diagnostic tests to their home by drone, eliminating the need for potentially dangerous contact between patient and health care provider.
Quest Diagnostics teamed up with Walmart to fly the lab’s COVID-19 at-home self-collection kits from the discount retailer’s location in North Las Vegas to homes within a radius of one mile. There is no delivery charge.
People who receive the drone-delivered test collect a sample themselves using a nasal swab – the same swab used in the QuestDirect COVID-19 Active Infection Test. The sample is then shipped by the patient to a Quest lab for processing, with results coming later via the firm’s online portal or app.
The goal of the pilot program is to determine the types of roles drones can play not only in response to pandemics, but in health care delivery and retail, too.
Dan Haemmerle, general manager of extended care at Quest, said the pilot will “examine how drones could deliver health care to patients who are unable to leave their home or live in remote locations. We will take the learnings from this pilot and enhance the ways we deliver health care services.”
Interested patients must request a drone-delivery appointment by visiting GetDroneTest.com. They also have to meet testing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – as well as state and local government guidelines – and be 18 years of age or older.