San Francisco's QuiQui is set to offer 24/7 delivery of pills and prescriptions via drone.
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Drones have recently been touted as an option for businesses to more quickly deliver products to consumers without having to send out a human driver, but the speed of the flying robots could have wide implications for healthcare. We’ve already seen Germany’s Defikopter project explore the possibility of getting defibrillators to heart attack victims before the paramedics even arrive, and now San Francisco’s QuiQui is set to offer 24/7 delivery of pills and prescriptions via drone.
Launching in the city’s Mission District following a court ruling in favor of commercial use of drones, the service — which is pronounced ‘Qui-ckie’ — is hoping to raise the funding for a fleet of machines to help get drugstore goods to ailing consumers faster. With its first flights scheduled for summer this year, QuiQui promises delivery of over-the-counter medication, as well as prescriptions, within 15 minutes of ordering. The service will be open 24 hours a day and customers will pay just USD 1 to have their pills drop from the sky — literally. A companion app will alert customers when the drone is above their desired location, where it will stay hovering around 20 feet in the air until they swipe the app to release the drugs.
Although it may sound frivolous, QuiQui could help those in pain avoid a trip to the nearest pharmacy, or even get life-saving medication to emergency situations. Are there other ways that drones could get products to consumers exactly when and where they need them?