Home News OhioHealth to Use Zipline in Drone Deliveries of Medications, Supplies

OhioHealth to Use Zipline in Drone Deliveries of Medications, Supplies


OhioHealth today announced a partnership with Zipline, the world’s largest autonomous delivery service, to integrate Zipline’s fully electric drone delivery into OhioHealth’s network. 

Using Zipline’s newly-introduced Platform 2, OhioHealth will bring prescriptions directly to patients’ homes and move lab samples and supplies between OhioHealth facilities. By 2025, the partnership is expected to form an initial network capable of reaching nearly 2 million people in the greater Columbus area with fast, quiet and sustainable drone delivery.

This innovative partnership will improve patients’ experiences thanks to faster diagnostic turnaround times, more convenient direct-to-home prescription delivery that improves access to care, and reduced carbon emissions through Zipline’s fully electric platform.

“Zipline drone delivery provides a great alternative for OhioHealth as we look to grow our home infusion and specialty pharmacy home delivery services. It gets products to patients more quickly and at a lower cost and uses less carbon intensive packing materials compared to our traditional delivery methods,” said OhioHealth Vice President of Pharmacy Services Charles McCluskey III.

“We are constantly looking at how to optimize the logistics of OhioHealth’s network of acute and non-acute points of care,” said OhioHealth Senior Director of Logistics/Sterile Processing Joshua Dritz. “And with our initial Zipline deployment, focused on the laboratory operations, we will significantly cut the time it takes to process lab samples and diagnostics, giving our physicians the information, they need to make informed decisions faster.”

OhioHealth will also be able to move urgently needed supplies and equipment to care sites using the drones and can envision several incremental use cases for this innovative mode of transportation. Zipline’s platform is sustainable, with internal research finding its first platform reduces emissions by up to 97% compared to traditional automotive delivery methods.

“We’re able to move lab samples between facilities in minutes and at a moment’s notice, instead of the hours it can currently take. That time savings is invaluable at every stage of the healthcare journey and can mean that people get diagnosed and treated faster, leading to better health outcomes,” said Hillary Brendzel, Head of Zipline’s U.S. Healthcare Practice. “Our service is sustainable, reliable, and already proven to improve people’s health and save lives. It’s designed to be so quiet that it blends into the background of life. We’re thrilled to partner with OhioHealth on bringing our innovations to the people they serve across the state.”

OhioHealth will use Zipline’s next-generation Platform 2, which uses autonomous, electric Zipline drones (Zips) to make fast, extremely quiet, ultraprecise deliveries to rural, suburban, and even dense urban areas across the region. Zipline’s home delivery service is expected to deliver up to seven times faster than traditional automobile delivery, completing 10-mile deliveries in about 10 minutes. Unlike other drone delivery services, Zips fly more than 300 feet above the ground and are nearly inaudible. When the Zip arrives at its destination, it hovers safely and quietly at that altitude, while its fully autonomous delivery droid maneuvers down a tether, steers to the correct location, and gently drops off its package to areas as small as a patio table or the front steps of a home.

Recent third-party studies have shown that Zipline’s system helps save lives, increase care, and improves patient outcomes. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found an 88% reduction of in-hospital maternal deaths from to postpartum hemorrhage as a result of Zipline’s logistics and delivery system, meaning that more mothers are alive today because they were at a medical facility that relied on Zipline. Several organizations in the U.S. have already signed on to use Zipline’s Platform 2 system including sweetgreen, Michigan Medicine, MultiCare Health Systems, Intermountain Health, GNC and more.

Zipline is a key part of OhioHealth’s efforts to decarbonize its services and improve access to care with equitable and community-based approaches.