Amazon Bets on AI to Enhance Pharmacy Experience

Amazon Bets on AI to Enhance Pharmacy Experience

Amazon Pharmacy is increasingly using AI across its operations to streamline prescription fulfillment, enhance inventory management, and improve customer service. Powered by multiple, pre-trained models from Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMake, the company believes AI can help set a new industry standard for convenience and accessibility.

The e-commerce giant is deploying AI in Amazon Pharmacy across five key areas:

Speeding Up Order Processing

Even digital prescriptions contain unstructured language around dosage, frequency, and directions which can still be confusing or inconsistent. To standardize this data, Amazon built a generative AI model that extracts key details into structured fields like "dose" and "frequency" that can be easily processed downstream. Though pharmacists still review every order, this cuts order processing time by 90% and reduces human error.

Smart Inventory Management with AI

Balancing supply and demand is also critical for customer satisfaction. Amazon uses machine learning algorithms to forecast prescription volume at each pharmacy location. Additionally, it uses generative AI to simulate inventory scenarios to determine optimal stock levels of medications and supplies. This ensures the pharmacy stocks the right products to fulfill customer needs rapidly.

Enhancing Pricing Transparency with AI

Large language models generate real-time price estimates for medications, without requiring the customer to input insurance details. This feature enables customers to compare prices easily, including estimated insurance coverage and savings through Amazon's Prime prescription benefits and RxPass.

AI-Powered Customer Support

Another key area where AI makes a difference is customer support. Amazon leverages generative AI to analyze internal documentation and knowledge bases, quickly summarize answers to customer questions in a clinically appropriate manner. An additional validation model screens responses before they reach customers, prioritizing accuracy and safety. This speeds up issue resolution without compromising quality.

Streamlining Delivery

Finally, by analyzing past data and context, predictive algorithms batch prescription refill requests so medications can be dispensed more efficiently. This means urgent needs are prioritized while routine refills are efficiently processed, a balance that is vital in healthcare services.

While AI drives most improvements behind the scenes, the overarching goal is delivering a pharmacy experience that is fast, affordable and convenient. Early results seem promising, with customer numbers doubling over the past year.

Amazon's rapid progress in leveraging AI to transform pharmacy operations provides a glimpse into the vast potential to improve healthcare overall. As we continue to grapple with clinician shortages, administrative overload, and skyrocketing costs, innovative applications of AI could provide some relief.

Chris McKay is the founder and chief editor of Maginative. His thought leadership in AI literacy and strategic AI adoption has been recognized by top academic institutions, media, and global brands.

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