UnitedHealth Group Vice President of Innovation and R&D Kunjorn Chambundabongse revealed that the health care company is working on new projects, including a vending machine that will sync up with employee wellness plans, Mobile Health News reports. Chambundabongse explained that although insurance companies are telling members to eat healthier, they are not providing useful ways to do so. He and his group are exploring “smarter” technology with RFID inside vending machines as a way to provide healthier food options to consumers.
The source reports that Chambundabongse will place these machines in workplaces. He hopes in the future that the machines can be incorporated into wellness programs, with rewards for repeat business.
RFID technology is relatively new to the vending industry. ShelfX launched a locked cooler with attached RFID-enabled access and cashless payment acceptance in 2012. Meanwhile, Pantry Labs, a newcomer to the industry, also introduced its RFID technology wherein a customer can swipe their credit card and unlock the refrigerated cooler. Once the item is removed and door closed, the RFID label on the food item is recognized as missing so the customer gets charged.