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Chula Med Launches Automatic Innovation Vending Machines

Image Credits: Chulalongkorn University, Press Release

Chula Med has come up with vending machines to provide a convenient way for people to purchase Chula Medical Innovations. Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, in collaboration with a Thailand vending machine company, have launched automatic vending machines selling Chula medical innovations.

The vending machines will provide people easier access to Chula’s innovative medical products from the researchers of Chula Med and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. In the first phase, the vending machines will sell the following innovations:

  • Innovative Fabric Masks for a New Normal Life;
  • Care Masks (Cold compressed masks for thyroid cancer patients who are treated with radioactive iodine);
  • HydroZitLa (an innovative therapeutic beverage for urinary stone disease);
  • Alcohol-free disinfectant sprays and Mr. Smart N95 masks.

During the launch of the project at the Ananda Mahidol Building in late May 2021, the vending machine firm delivered five vending machines to Chulalongkorn University and Chulalongkorn Hospital.

There to receive the machines were the Vice President for Strategic Planning, Innovation and Global Engagement; the Director of CU Innovation Hub; the Assistant Director of the Corporate Image, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and other prominent members of the University.

The vending machines have been installed at different areas of the Faculty of Medicine and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, including on the M floor of Phor Por Ror Building, the 1st floor of the Bhumisiri Mangkhalanusorn Building (in front of the emergency room), the 1st floor of Ananda Mahidol Building, in front of the Pattayapatana Building, and at the Siam Innovation District in the Siam Square One. All profits will be donated to the MDCU Foundation to support the studies, research and activities of the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University.

An earlier article notes that the retail sector is increasingly embracing vending machines as a new distribution channel following the pandemic and social distancing measures. Vending machines are in industrial areas, factories, hospitals, office buildings, educational institutions, malls, mass transit systems, sidewalks and petrol stations.

Products available in vending machines include food, instant noodles, fresh coffee, carbonated drinks, fruit juice, electronic gadgets, SIM cards, face masks and bags. New product categories in the pipeline include ice cream and frozen food.

According to one expert, vending machines have been available in Thailand for several decades, but their popularity peaked during the outbreak because it is a contactless distribution channel, offering safety for both sellers and buyers.

Meanwhile, the Senior Vice-President of production and information technology at a producer of vending machines said that the pandemic is not the lone driver for vending machines. Another key factor is the development of new vending machine models that allow product buyers to pay electronically.

The government’s economic stimulus packages link payments with digital applications, paving the way for familiarity with digital gadgets, he said. Digital payment uptake can delete pain points in the payment system, drawing more players to the business.

The firm operated 14,000 vending machines in 2020, up by 2,888 units from the previous year. Of the total, 80% are located at industrial factories, with the remainder installed at hospitals, schools, residential areas and retail complexes.

Then, the General Manager at a marketer and distributor of rubber flip-flops vending machines act like a communication tool that brings the brand closer to customers. He said that vending machines have become a new modern retail channel for products. It will be the new retail solution for the new normal lifestyle.

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