– On World Sight Day, Haleon and Microsoft are launching a joint effort to make healthcare products more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, with artificial intelligence (AI) technology that narrates product labels.
– New improvements to the free Microsoft Seeing AI app will help improve inclusion and improve accessibility.
– In the US and UK, consumers will hear important information on the label for over 1,500 everyday consumer health products such as Sensodyne, Centrum, Emergen-C, ChapStick and Aquafresh.
REDMOND, Washington – October 12, 2022 – On Wednesday, Haleon, a global leader in consumer healthcare, and Microsoft Corp. announced a new collaboration to make everyday healthcare more accessible to people who are blind, have low vision or have difficulty reading product labels due to low literacy. Together, the companies are expanding the functionality in the Microsoft Seeing AI app to provide consumers with more detailed labeling information on over 1,500 Haleon products in the US and UK. Seeing AI is a free mobile app designed to help people with vision problems by narrating the world around them.
With today’s launch on World Sight Day, people will hear packaging information through Seeing AI by scanning the barcode of Haleon products. This will provide audio reading of important information such as product name, ingredients and instructions for use. Through the enhanced Seeing AI functionality, Haleon will help people take care of their own health independently by listening to the information on the label narrated through the Seeing AI app.
Haleon’s inaugural Health Inclusion Index, which sets a new global standard for measuring health inclusion, makes clear that to improve health inclusion, individuals and communities must be empowered and empowered to truly take their health into their own hands. Haleon, driven by its goal to deliver better everyday health to humanity, is committed to helping make healthcare more attainable, inclusive and sustainable. Seeing AI’s collaboration with Microsoft is one of Haleon’s first new initiatives to promote inclusive health. The Microsoft Seeing AI app can be useful for:
- 1 million Americans living with blindness (CDC, “Fast Facts on Common Eye Diseases, https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts.htm)
- The 12 million U.S. adults over age 40 who are blind or have low vision (CDC, “Fast Facts About Common Eye Diseases, https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts. htm)
The Seeing AI app was developed by a team of Microsoft engineers led by Project Lead and Engineering Manager Saqib Shaikh, who lost his sight at the age of seven and was driven to develop the app by his passion for using technology to improve people’s lives.
Saqib Shaikh, Engineering Manager at Microsoft, said: “I’m really excited to see the launch of this enhanced product recognition functionality developed in collaboration with Haleon. The intelligent AI barcode scanner plays sound signals to help you find the barcode, and now the information displayed on Haleon products comes directly from the manufacturer, providing richer information, including instructions for use and ingredients. This can be invaluable to someone who can’t read a label, leading to greater independence.
Katie Williams, Haleon’s US Chief Marketing Officer, said, “We believe everyone should have access to self-service products, services and the information needed to make informed, proactive choices about their healthcare needs. Haleon initiated this collaboration with Microsoft through its Seeing AI app to make consumer health more accessible, achievable and inclusive. We are proud to help make better everyday health more accessible to the blind and visually impaired.”
The Seeing AI app is free to download from the Apple App Store and will be available for Android in the future. To use Seeing AI on Haleon products, users must hold their phone’s camera over the barcode on the package. The app will read the product name and all the text on the package. Users can skip ahead or go back to the relevant section they want to listen to, such as which flavor or how to use the product. Haleon barcode functionality will launch today first in the US and UK, with plans to expand globally and add additional languages in the future.
About Haleon US
Haleon (NYSE: HLN) is a leading global consumer health company with a portfolio of brands that millions of people trust every day. Across the United States, the organization employs more than 4,700 people who are united by Haleon’s powerful purpose of bringing better everyday health to humanity. Haleon’s products span five categories: Oral Health, Pain Relief, Respiratory Health, Digestive Health and Wellness. Built on scientific expertise, innovation and deep human understanding, Haleon’s brands include Abreva, Advil, Benefiber, Centrum, ChapStick®, Emergen-C, Excedrin, Flonase, Gas-X, Natean, Nexium, Nicorette, Parodontax, Polident, Preparation H, Pronamel, Sensodyne, Robitussin, Theraflu, TUMS, Voltaren, etc. For more information about Haleon and its brands, please visit www.haleon.com or contact us [email protected].
About the Haleon Health Inclusion Index
Today’s announcement closely follows the launch of the Health Inclusion Index developed by Economist Impact and supported by Haleon. The world’s first global survey of 40 countries measures how successful countries are in using policies to remove the personal, social, cultural and political barriers that would otherwise prevent people and communities from achieving good physical and mental health. The number of countries assessed in the survey will grow to over 80 over the next two years as part of a new three-year partnership between Haleon and Economist Impact. The report was commissioned by Haleon as part of its commitment to make better everyday health more achievable, inclusive and sustainable, as the company aims to create more opportunities for people to be involved in everyday health, reaching 50 million people a year by 2025 Mr.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
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Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]
Megan Sova, Haleon USA, (919) 864-0953, [email protected]
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