Haleon and Microsoft use AI to improve accessibility of healthcare products for people who are blind or visually impaired

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– On World Sight Day, Haleon and Microsoft are launching a joint effort to make healthcare products more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired, using artificial intelligence (AI) technology that tells the labels of products.
– New enhancements in the free Microsoft Seeing AI app will help advance inclusivity and improve accessibility.
– In the US and UK, consumers will hear important information on the labels of more than 1,500 consumer health products such as Sensodyne, Centrum, Emergen-C, ChapStick and Aquafresh.

The Microsoft Seeing AI app scans the Sensodyne barcode for health information.

REDMOND, Washington – October 12, 2022 – On Wednesday, Haleon, a global leader in consumer healthcare, and Microsoft Corp. announced a new collaboration to make everyday health more accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired or have difficulty reading product labels due to low literacy. Together, the companies are extending the functionality of the Microsoft Seeing AI app to provide consumers with more detailed labeling information for more than 1,500 Haleon products in the US and UK. Seeing AI is a free mobile app designed to help people who have difficulty seeing by telling the world. around them.

With today’s launch on World Sight Day, people will hear on-pack information through Seeing AI by scanning the barcode of Haleon products. This will provide an audio playback of important information, such as product name, ingredients, and usage instructions. With enhanced Seeing AI functionality, Haleon will help people independently take care of their own health by listening to label information told through the Seeing AI app.

Haleon’s first Health Inclusiveness Index, which sets a new global standard for measuring health inclusion, makes it clear that to improve health inclusiveness, individuals and communities must have the power and tools needed to truly take charge of their health. Haleon, driven by its goal of delivering better everyday health to humanity, is committed to helping make healthcare more accessible, inclusive and sustainable. The Seeing AI collaboration with Microsoft is one of Haleon’s first new initiatives to champion inclusiveness in healthcare. The Microsoft Seeing AI app can be a benefit for:

  • The Million Americans Living with Blindness (CDC, “Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders, https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts.htm)
  • The 12 million American adults over 40 who are blind or partially sighted (CDC, “Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders, https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts.htm)”

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.

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.

Katie Williams, US Marketing Director at Haleon, said: “We believe everyone should have access to the self-care products, services and information needed to make informed and proactive choices about their health needs. Haleon initiated this collaboration with Microsoft through its Seeing AI app to make consumer health more accessible, actionable 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 on Android in the future. To use Seeing AI on Haleon products, users must hold their phone’s camera over the barcode on the packaging. The app will read the product name and all the text on the packaging. Users can skip or return to the relevant section they want to listen to, for example, what flavor or how to use the product. The Haleon barcode feature will first launch today in the US and UK, with plans to expand globally and add additional languages ​​in the future.


About Haleon USA

Haleon (NYSE: HLN) is one of the world’s leading consumer healthcare companies with a portfolio of brands trusted by millions of people daily. In the United States, the organization employs more than 4,700 people who are united by Haleon’s powerful purpose to deliver better health every day with humanity. Haleon products cover five categories: Oral Health, Pain Relief, Respiratory Health, Digestive Health and Wellness. Built on scientific expertise, innovation and deep human understanding, Haleon 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, and more. For more information about Haleon and its brands, please visit www.haleon.com or contact [email protected].

About the Haleon Health Inclusivity Index

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the launch of the Health Inclusion Index, developed by Economist Impact and backed by Haleon. The first global study of 40 countries measures how successful countries are in using policies to remove personal, social, cultural and political barriers that might otherwise prevent people and communities from achieving good physical and mental health. The number of countries assessed in the study will grow to more than 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, with the company aiming to create more opportunities for people to be included in everyday health, reaching 50 million people per year by 2025.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is enabling digital transformation in the era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information just press:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Meghan Sowa, Haleon USA, (919) 864-0953, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news, and insights from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, phone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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