TECHNOLOGY

Albertsons unveils ‘first-of-its-kind’ AI-powered medical clinic in its Safeway unit

BY David Salazar

Shoppers at select Safeway stores can get a nagging cough checked out when they stop in to pick up some groceries.

Two Safeway stores in the Phoenix area are kicking off a new partnership between Albertsons Companies and virtual health solutions provider Akos.

Akos has launched, “first-of-its-kind,” artificial intelligence-powered medical clinics in two Phoenix-area Safeway stores.

The Akos Med Clinic is a self-guided medical station powered by AI and augmented reality. Akos said it planned to expand the offering to 50 Safeway locations throughout Arizona by the middle of 2019, as well as to other states, such as Colorado, where Safeway has a presence.

“Safeway is a local community grocery store and pharmacy that cares about the health and wellness of our customers,” said Joe Leyba, Albertsons director of pharmacy operations for the southwest region. “Our vision is that the Akos Med Clinic will increase access to care and help customers experience a one-stop shop for all their nutritional and medicinal needs.”

The medical station guides patients, who are sitting in front of a computer screen and a rack of medical tools, through self-administered steps to collect such data as weight, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen content, as well as images of their ear, nose and throat, and sounds of their chest, lungs and abdomen.

The process is designed to take less than 15 minutes, and their work-up is sent, along with potential illnesses and treatment options, to an Akos provider who engages with the patient through a video consultation to confirm the collected info, verify the diagnosis and confirm or change the treatment plan. There also will be an on-site healthcare professional to assist if needed, Akos said.

The medical station, which combines Akos’ virtual health platform with AdviNow Medical’s technology, can help diagnose and treat such illnesses as sinus infections, earaches, sore throats, rashes and urinary tract infections.

“In a time when digital health is rapidly evolving, we are excited to bring this unprecedented approach to virtual medical care,” said Kishlay Anand, Akos CEO and co-founder. “At Akos, we’re committed to improving access to high-quality medical care and this partnership will expand our telehealth offering beyond the capabilities of our telemedicine app by placing these clinics where consumers regularly shop.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon eyes new opportunities for its cashierless technology

BY CSA Staff

Amazon is thinking ‘big’ when it comes to its cashierless technology — bigger stores, that is.

The online giant is testing the technology in bigger space in Seattle, one that is formatted like a large retail store, according to MarketWatch.

The cashierless technology is already being used in seven Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. Connected to a dedicated app, the technology tracks items customers pick up from the shelves — and put back. Customers are billed for orders once they leave the store.

Amazon didn’t reveal if the technology will be deployed at Whole Foods Market stores, according to the report.

To read more, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

A 200-year-old retailer makes big innovation leap

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Brooks Brothers is adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to make sure that it stays relevant among its loyal customers.

Through a partnership with enterprise software provider ORS Group, the specialty retailer launched an end-to-end AI-powered retail platform, called ORS RETa.i.l. Brooks Brothers is the first fashion retailer in the world to fully integrate AI comprehensively across all business processes, according to the company.

Brooks Brothers will use the platform’s algorithms and AI to gain insights across the entire value chain, a move that will help to improve and automate decision-making, and drive impactful business transformations. It will also power the company’s “buy anything, get it anywhere (BAGA)” platform which manages fulfillment across its stores.

Specifically, the technology will enable the company to ship online orders from stores for same-day delivery, and monitor available stock — two processes that will help to increase sales and convert more visits into purchases, according to Forbes.

The AI architecture to improve efficiency and service to its customers, as well as remove waste, empower management and enhance decision-making capabilities, according to the company.

“Using ORS’ RETa.i.L Platform, we are able to create a highly sensitive and responsive digital supply chain to manage inventories in real-time and to optimize operations end-to-end,” said Gianluca Tanzi, Brooks Brothers COO. “It is a disruptive solution for automated omnichannel fulfillment to help us build a superior customer experience and maximize sales opportunities.”

The company, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in the spring, continues to take steps to remain relevant among its shoppers. In October, the company also added a cloud-based platform that fosters a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. By marrying order management and store fulfillment applications on a single solution, Brooks Brothers associates now have a 360-degree view of customer information and access to the company’s full network of inventory, enabling them to increase the value of the shopper’s experience.

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