How’s this for the ultimate in touchless service?
Secaucus-based Quest Diagnostics announced Tuesday it is teaming up with Walmart and DroneUp on a pilot program to provide drone delivery of COVID-19 at-home self-collection kits to single-family homes.
Before you start looking up in the sky, know this: The pilot program is starting at a North Las Vegas Walmart — and will only extend to homes within a 1-mile radius of the store. A second pilot site will be set up in Cheektowaga, New York, in early October.
As for New Jersey, let’s say that’s up in the air, for now. At least, that was the take of Dan Haemmerle, general manager of extended care at Quest Diagnostics.
“We will take the learnings from this pilot and enhance the ways we deliver health care services to the patients we serve,” he said.
The drone delivery pilot will be available while supplies last every day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather and visibility permitting.
Once delivered, patients will perform a self-administered nasal swab in the privacy of their home. Patients will ship the sample to a Quest Diagnostics lab using a provided prepaid shipping envelope for processing at the lab and will receive their COVID-19 test results through the secure Quest Diagnostics MyQuest online portal or app.
There is no delivery cost for patients who qualify to receive an at-home self-collection kit through this pilot program. Patients must also meet CDC and state and local guidelines for testing and must be 18 years of age or older.
And once you get past the “wow” factor, you realize the possibilities.
Quest officials said this pilot will help determine what roles drones can play in pandemic response, health care delivery and retail.
Tom Walker, founder and CEO of DroneUp, said there are plenty of possibilities.
“Collaborating to deliver self-collection kits offers further investment into solutions that will advance safe and effective drone delivery,” he said. “We are honored to partner with Walmart and Quest to pioneer these deliveries and equally as proud to serve our communities.”