The Future of Self-Service Kiosks — Pt. 3

Posted On : Friday, November 20, 2015 By : Will Pymm

Our previous blog discussed how digital kiosks are impacting health care, and detailed the way that self-service registration kiosks in particular are helping move the medical industry forward. This week, we’ll talk about what other ways kiosks are driving change in this sector; ways which only a few years ago, would have been unlikely or even unheard of.

The technology age has affected almost every industry, and the kiosk industry is no different. Once simply transactional and able to provide only the most basic services, like the PIN-based ATMs of the 1980s, self-service kiosks now include the integration of complex hardware and software, such as fingerprint scanners, iris cameras and facial-recognition technology; in other words, biometrics.

Why are biometrics important? Because the type of services now available via digital kiosks have become increasingly sensitive in terms of user privacy, as well as financial security. Therefore, these higher-dollar, more complicated transactions don’t just require a PIN for approval; instead, they necessitate a truly secure environment, one that can only truly be guaranteed via the use of biometric capture technology. This gives patient, doctor and hospital a level of comfort in transmitting sensitive medical information, while ensuring that only the intended recipient has access to the goods and services these kiosks are capable of providing.

So what kinds of medical kiosk deployments are beginning to be seen at market? One type stands out in particular: those that are capable of dispensing prescription medicine and medical supplies in a verifiably secure manner. There are two forces at work that will continue to make these types of dispensing devices relevant. The first is the dawn of medical marijuana as a legal alternative to traditional drugs. At this point in time, most dispensaries are cash-only businesses, which can create several different issues, including an increased potential for employee theft as well as a greater threat of robbery. Medical marijuana kiosks are able to offer a secure way to both dispense medicine and store cash collected, while also protecting the product itself.

Second is the aging population of Boomers. This cohort will continue to place a strain on the medical system and associated institutions, such as pharmacies. As a way to streamline the dispensary process, large companies such as CVS and Walgreens will look to self-service pharmacy kiosks to lessen demands on their workforce and help keep costs in check. This also allows the pharmacist to focus on filling more complex prescriptions, such as those for controlled substances, while the automated kiosk takes care of filling simpler orders like those for antibiotics.

It’s not just the healthcare industry that’s integrating self-service kiosks. Many other business sectors are finding success in improving both performance and customer satisfaction with kiosk deployment. Keep following RedyRef as we continue to explore the future of the industry next week. Already know that you want to be a part of the automation movement? Our experts are available to assist organizations of all sizes; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.