San Juans included in drone project

San Juan Island Drone Delivery

This post originally appeared on http://sanjuanislander.com/news-articles/22606/san-juans-included-in-drone-project.

[Editor’s Note: The drones will deliver blood, medicine and medical products.]

Bloodworks Northwest may be delivering supplies to San Juan Island via unmanned aircraft AKA drones as part of a pilot program. The San Juan Islands are one of the remote locations in three states – Washington, Maryland and Nevada – included in the Zipline International project.

(Left) A drone with a package;  (Right) closeup of Zipline drone; (Below) Zipline drone under construction. Zipline photos

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted a workshop on Drones and the Future of Aviation on August 2, 2016. Included in commitments by private sector organizations is a pilot program to use “unmanned aircraft to deliver critical medical supplies to improve health access in hard-to-reach areas.

According to the White House website:

Using unmanned aircraft to deliver critical medical supplies to improve health access in hard-to-reach areas: Zipline International, with the support of Ellumen, ASD Healthcare, and the nonprofit Bloodworks Northwest, will demonstrate the viability of unmanned aircraft technology in disseminating critical care supplies to remote communities in the United States. The demonstrations will deliver lifesaving blood, medicine, and medical products to remote communities in the states of Maryland, Nevada, and Washington, including in Indian reservations and their surrounding communities, within six months of regulatory approval.

The preliminary missions identified include: Crisfield Clinic, Crisfield; Maryland to Smith Island, Maryland; Reno ASD Healthcare Distribution Center to Pyramid Lake Tribal Health Clinic and/or VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, Nevada; and Bloodworks Northwest Bellingham Facility or Lummi Reservation to San Juan Islands, Washington.

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