Amazon Pharmacy: These faster delivery speeds will be a game changer

Amazon Pharmacy: These faster delivery speeds will be a game changer
Amazon Pharmacy has launched Same-Day Delivery of prescription medication in New York City and the greater L.A. area, with plans to expand the service to more than a dozen U.S. cities by the end of the year.
Same-Day Delivery will expand to more than a dozen cities by the end of the year using environmentally friendly delivery vehicles, including e-bikes, electric vans, and drones.
Customers in Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Phoenix, and Seattle can already access Same-Day Delivery, while customers in College Station, Texas, can get their medications delivered in under an hour via drone.

“By bringing Amazon Pharmacy’s deliveries into our existing world-class logistics network, Amazon is building the fastest and most convenient service for the home delivery of prescription medications,” said Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores. “These faster delivery speeds will be a game changer when you or your family need your medications quickly.”

The advanced technology powering Amazon Pharmacy’s Same-Day Delivery service is using generative artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help pharmacists fill prescriptions more quickly and accurately. For example, when handwritten or online prescriptions come in, Amazon’s AI models undertake a series of fact-checking tasks that help ensure pharmacists receive clear and accurate information.

Pharmacy of the future

AI can streamline prep work that historically would take hours down to mere minutes or even seconds, and reduce administrative errors, noted Kelvin Downes, director of fulfillment for Amazon Pharmacy.

“AI doesn’t replace the role of the pharmacist; it allows them to operate at the top of their license,” Downes said. “Rather than doing duplicative work, pharmacists can use the skills they went to school for to deliver better patient experiences.”

According to Downes, no prescription leaves a fulfillment center without a pharmacist having verified that it includes the right medicine, strength, dosage, quantity, and address label.

To support prescription medication drone delivery, Amazon Pharmacy and Prime Air co-created a new fulfillment process to ensure hyperfast delivery. The pharmacy and fulfillment center are connected, allowing the pharmacy team to clinically evaluate a new prescription, dispense the medication, and hand over a single package for a drone to swiftly deliver. One particular order, for instance, was processed and delivered in just 53 minutes via drone.

“We built out a new fulfillment system by integrating a fully licensed pharmacy into existing logistics operations and smaller sites,” Downes said. “Prescription medication processing time is shrinking with AI on the back end and automation and new micromobility technologies on the front end,” said Downes.

That’s true for larger sites, where robotic arms assist in filling, labeling, and sending prescriptions for pharmacist inspection in as few as 30 seconds (manually it would take handlers at least three minutes), and it’s the case with the new small-format pharmacies that are enabling Same-Day Delivery in a growing number of cities.

 

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