Amazon has been bolstering its digital capabilities for several years now, tying its advancements into sustainability goals, supply chain optimization efforts, pharmacy growth, and more. During its annual Delivering the Future event, the company shared some of its latest innovations.
The event, held at Amazon’s fulfillment center and innovation lab near Seattle, Washington, shed light on program expansions across drone delivery, robotic systems, and waste reduction.
The company has been implementing drones across several efforts, including for Amazon Prime fulfillment and even to deliver medications through its pharmacy services. Via Prime Air, the company expects to launch drone deliveries to a third of U.S. states, expanding into Italy and the UK by the end of 2024.
“Moving forward, we’ll be integrating drones into the Amazon delivery network. In the U.S., our new drone delivery operations will operate out of some of our same-day delivery sites,” said Amazon during the event. “These sites offer a selection of products that are well aligned with things customers want and need fast, and what drones can safely deliver.”
Amazon plans to also launch drone delivery through Amazon pharmacy. The service is first launching for eligible customers in College Station, Texas, with customers receiving their orders within 60 minutes of placing it, and having access to more than 500 common medications.
As far as drone type, Amazon just gave a first-look of its MK30 drone, launching in 2024. The drone features propellers that reduce noise by nearly half compared to others, can fly twice as far as the current MK27 model, and can operate in “more diverse weather, like light rain.”
Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence
Amazon is also elevating its pharmacy experience by leveraging AI and machine learning. The company is looking to improve efficiency across clinician-placed prescriptions by implementing entity recognition to convert data forms based on what’s required for processing prescriptions.
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The company is also using computer vision for quality assurance to ensure the accuracy of pill packs, and machine learning to estimate insurance copay prices before consumers place their order on Amazon.com.
Additionally, generative AI is cropping up within Amazon’s pharmacy customer service support to elevate and expedite the experience.