September 23, 2020 - 14:46 AMT
Walmart will try drone deliveries of at-home coronavirus tests

Walmart will test drone delivery of “at home Covid-19 self-collection kits” made by Quest Diagnostics as the pandemic rages on and the retailer looks for new contactless ways to reach customers, Forbes reports.

Walmart on Tuesday, September 22 said it has partnered with Quest and the drone services provider DroneUp to launch pilot deliveries of collection kits in North Las Vegas Tuesday and Cheektowaga, N.Y. beginning early next month. Financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed.

The effort is Walmart’s latest in the drone delivery space. The retail giant already has drone trials underway to deliver “select grocery and household essentials” and a separate drone delivery test of certain health and wellness products. Walmart says the drone delivery of Covid-19 tests builds on its effort to build more innovative “contactless” delivery models during the pandemic.

“The kits will land on the driveway, front sidewalk, or backyard of the customer’s home, depending on where there are cars and trees,” Walmart senior vice president of customer product, Tom Ward, said in a company announcement Tuesday.

“There is no delivery or kit cost for customers electing to receive an at home kit delivered via drone,” Ward said. “Once the kits are delivered, the person will perform a self-administered nasal swab in the privacy of their home and send their sample back to Quest Diagnostics for testing using the included pre-paid shipping label.”

Walmart’s expansion of drone delivery in the healthcare services space comes as retail rivals like Amazon, CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance also experiment with drone delivery of prescriptions and other healthcare products.

Photo. AP