- Tech giant Amazon has brought its cashierless checkout technology to hospitals, the company said in a Thursday press release. The St. Joseph’s/Candler hospital system has become the first to use the technology, installing it at the Candler Hospital location in Savannah, Georgia.
- Healthcare workers at the hospital will now be able to purchase food and drinks from the store by scanning their badges at the entrance, picking up their items and walking out. The cost will be automatically deducted from an account linked to their payroll, the release said.
- “With this technology, Candler Hospital co-workers needing a quick snack or a meal … have a convenient way to purchase the meals, snacks, and drinks they need,” St. Joseph’s/Candler CEO Paul P. Hinchey said in the release.
Amazon refers to the cashierless capabilities as Just Walk Out technology and has previously deployed it at its own stores as well as third-party retailers. While the company didn’t name other healthcare locations where the technology will be used, the headline suggested more “hospitals” will adopt the approach.
Automated convenience stores such as the ones powered by Amazon’s technology, have become increasingly popular in places where people value speedy transactions, such as in sports stadiums and college campuses. For hospitals, Seattle-based Amazon touted the added convenience of purchasing food at all hours.
“Many hospital staff do not carry their wallets and phones during working hours,” the release said. “With most hospital cafeterias and stores closed at night, quick and easy access to food becomes a challenge for hospital staff during overnight shifts.”
The technology behind Amazon’s cashierless stores is a mix of cameras, sensors and radio-frequency identification tags instead of a traditional checkout process. The company also rolled out a biometric payment system to its Whole Foods grocery stores last year.
Morrison Healthcare, which provides food at 950 hospitals and healthcare systems, is operating the technology at Candler Hospital, according to the release.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment further about the use of the technology at the hospital store.