For retail and healthcare, contactless pickup options will be here to stay

Chances are there have been a few terms that you find yourself using for the first time. Maybe you’ve heard of these terms in passing once or twice. However, now you’re hearing them with such a frequency you’ve taken notice. Frankly, we’re all searching for the new normal. No one seems to have a clear understanding of what that’s going to be. So, as a society, we may as well adjust and continue to adjust as more information spreads. Right now, one of these buzzwords you have likely come across is “contactless pickup”. Whether it was from your local grocer or department store, everyone is rushing to make such an offer to customers.

Historically, contactless pickup has been a technical term related to actual contacts (i.e. chip reader) not needing to contact the credit card terminal. Think of concepts like Google and Apple pay. Contactless has taken on an expanded meaning during the outbreak and spread of Covid-19. Today contactless means is to eliminate, or greatly reduce, human–to–human contact. Google shows us that these search results for “contactless pickup” have been on the rise since the beginning of March. That should come as no surprise given the current climate. Not to mention the daily reminders to socially distance oneself (another phrase you’ve likely never used before this year).

The Contacless Pickup trend

Where does healthcare go?

In response to COVID-19 industries are expanding their offerings to ensure that their customers are still able to receive their services while socially distancing. For some businesses, this concept is achievable. For other industries, to offer contactless pickup options the industry must adapt. Healthcare falls somewhere in between. Some practices are able to offer a convenient solution while others cannot. They’ve overcome changes with technology in the industry before. Telepharmacy and telehealth are considered relatively new concepts that have grown in popularity in the last decade. The adoption has benefitted the industry as a whole and allowed patients to access remote care. Now, this has become more important than ever. In the midst of a pandemic, people should only leave their homes for absolute need.

For pharmacy, the same idea holds true. Pharmacies are essential, especially in a pandemic. Now, pharmacies all across the world are turning to telehealth solutions. This helps to ensure patients can receive any level of care from the comfort of their own homes. No longer do they need to crowd in congested pharmacies to have a direct line of communication with their pharmacist. Pharmacy, as a whole, has seen increased interest in controlled and contactless solutions to benefit patients and pharmacists alike. Solutions like pharmacy kiosks and lockers have been on the rise in pharmacy for years. Since March, Asteres has seen a dramatic upward trend with customers that reflects a 33% increase in prescription pickup rates at ScriptCenter systems.

Solutions that are being offered today for convenience will be here to stay in a post-pandemic world. Consumers enjoy these advancements and won’t want them to go. Offering these technologies will become an industry-standard in years to come. Customers have grown accustomed to these offerings and will continue using them even after the pandemic ends.