An innovative new collaboration is set to revolutionize everyday healthcare accessibility for people who are blind or partially sighted, experts say.
Over two million people live with vision loss in the UK, 8.5 million of whom have very poor reading skills and an independent study of visually impaired people finds that 93% of those surveyed believe health products are not sufficiently accessible.
And nearly one in five took the wrong dosage because they couldn’t read the package properly.
But on World Sight Day 2022, a groundbreaking new partnership looks poised to ensure that all blind and partially sighted people have dramatically improved access to healthcare products.
Haleon, a global consumer healthcare leader, and Microsoft Corp. extend the functionality of Microsoft Seeing AI app provide more detailed consumer labeling information for over 1500 Haleon products in the UK and US.
Seeing AI is a free mobile application, aimed at the visually impaired community, designed to tell the story of the world around them.
Saqib Shaikh, Director of Engineering at Microsoft, said, “I’m really excited to see the launch of this enhanced product recognition feature, developed in conjunction with Haleon.
“Seeing AI’s smart barcode reader reads audio cues to help you find the barcode, and now the information displayed for Haleon products comes directly from the manufacturer, providing richer information, including instructions for use. use and ingredients. This can be invaluable for someone who cannot read the label, leading to greater independence.
With the launch of Haleon’s “Always Read the Label” campaign for World Sight Day, people who are blind and those with low vision or low literacy can read labels through Seeing AI by scanning the barcode on Haleon products to hear important information such as the name, ingredients and instructions for use.
With the enhanced functionality offered by Seeing AI, Haleon will help people independently take care of their own health by listening to on-label information that is told through the Seeing AI app.
Haleon, driven by its goal of bringing better everyday health to humanity, believes that healthcare products should be accessible. Collaboration is the first step to fostering inclusiveness in health for this community.
The Seeing AI app was developed by a team of Microsoft engineers led by project manager and director of engineering Saqib Shaikh, who lost his sight at the age of seven and was driven to develop the application through his passion for using technology to improve people’s lives.
Tamara Rogers, Chief Marketing Officer at Haleon, said, “Helping people access vital information about our products is one of our first initiatives as we do our part to make everyday consumer health more inclusive. We hope that Microsoft’s Seeing AI ability to tell Haleon product labels will bring greater independence to our consumers. At Haleon, we’ve set a goal to help 50 million people be more included in opportunities for better everyday health by 2025, by tackling three big hurdles that we know put everyday health out of reach for too many of the world’s citizens; Health literacy, accessibility to health care, biases and prejudices.