BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The White House approved a pilot program last week that will allow Maryland’s Smith Island and two other remote communities in the U.S. to start receiving medical supplies via drone.
“Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is announcing new steps, sustained by public and private support, to promote the safe integration and innovative adoption of unmanned aircraft systems across the United States,” states a news release dated August 2.
This includes a program that will use unmanned crafts to “improve health access in hard-to-reach areas” with deliveries of blood, medicine and other medical supplies.
In addition to Smith Island, which sits in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay and is home to about 350 people, the program will also involve the Pyramid Lake Tribal Health Clinic that serves a Native American population in Nixon, Nevada and the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state.
The program will be spearheaded by Zipline International, with the support of Ellumen, ASD Healthcare, and the nonprofit Bloodworks Northwest.