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New AI helps visually impaired


New AI helps visually impaired

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is being used to improve accessibility to health products, according to announcement from Haleon and Microsoft.

The companies have come together in a joint effort to make health products more accessible for blind and visually impaired consumers by using AI that narrates packaging labels – comprising of important label information for over 1,500 everyday consumer health products, including Sensodyne and Aquafresh, across the UK and US.

The announcement, coinciding with World Sight Day (12 October) is a chance to focus attention on the global issue of eye health, particularly for the visually impaired.

An independent study, commissioned by Haleon in 2022, surveyed 502 visually impaired people in the UK. Some 93 per cent of respondent said they didn’t feel health products are accessible enough whilst almost one in five had taken the wrong dosage as they couldn’t read the packaging effectively.

To help address this, Haleon and Microsoft have launched the ‘Always Read the Label’ campaign which will ensure those who are blind or have low vision or low literacy to be able to read labels through Microsoft’s free Seeing AI app by scanning the barcode of Haleon products to hear important information such as name, ingredients and usage instructions.

“Helping people access vital information on our products is one of our first initiatives as we do our part to make everyday consumer health more inclusive,” said Tamara Rogers, chief marketing officer at Haleon. “We hope Microsoft’s Seeing AI capability to narrate labels across Haleon’s products brings great independence to our consumers.”

Pharmacy teams can endeavour to make sure any customers who have trouble with their vision are aware of this new technology by advertising it in store.

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