NEW YORK – Quest Diagnostics said on Tuesday that it is partnering with Walmart and drone services company DroneUp to provide drone delivery of SARS-CoV-2 home collection kits as part of a pilot program exploring what role drones could play in responding to the pandemic and healthcare delivery more generally.
The drone will deliver Quest SARS-CoV-2 home collection kits to residences within a one-mile radius of a North Las Vegas Walmart. Patients can then use the kits to collect a nasal swab sample and mail it to a Quest lab for processing.
Quest is also offering drive-through SARS-CoV-2 testing at 500 Walmart locations around the country.
Patients must meet US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local guidelines for testing.
"Quest Diagnostics is proud to partner with Walmart and DroneUp on this innovative pilot program to examine how drones could deliver health care to patients who are unable to leave their home, or live in remote locations," Dan Haemmerle, general manager of extended care at Quest said in a statement. "We will take the learnings from this pilot and enhance the ways we deliver healthcare services to the patients we serve."
"Walmart has been serving the North Las Vegas community throughout the pandemic with drive-thru testing sites, and we wanted to provide another way to access testing that provides convenience and leverages technology while learning how drones could impact the delivery of healthcare in the future," said Amanda Jenkins, vice president of operation support and implementation, Walmart US Health and Wellness.