Bayer Consumer Health UK launches “world’s first” Accessible QR code in healthcare

Bayer Consumer Health UK, in partnership with Zappar, has integrated an enhanced Accessible QR (AQR) code on its Canescool Soothing Gel Cream product packaging to make the content more accessible to people who are blind or partially-sighted

Bayer said that Canescool is the world’s first women’s intimate health brand to adopt AQR codes on its product packaging and gives the over 200,000 women who are registered as blind or partially-sighted in the UK (source: RNIB) improved access to information on its product.

The AQR codes, created by Zappar working closely with Bayer and in collaboration with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), can be detected by popular accessibility apps such as the Envision app, Microsoft SeeingAI (as of mid-October) and also Zapvision’s reference app.

AQR codes are optimised for people who are sighted, partially-sighted or blind. They enable structured product information to be announced through text-to-speech for users who are blind or partially sighted. Users are also directed to a dedicated landing page on the Canescool website with expanded product information and a myth-busting knowledge quiz.

“This digitally-inclusive transformation is a major step change for us as well as the whole healthcare category,” said Mike Knowland, Cluster Lead Northern Europe including the UK & Ireland at Beyer. “The enhanced QR code improves access to important product information for consumers during their shopping journey. It is the start of our ambition to add Accessible QR codes onto more of our product packaging across the consumer health portfolio, so that we continue to meet our company vision of ‘health for all’ and empower more people to find it easier to self-care – a vital societal sustainability pillar of ours.”

Marc Powell, Accessibility Innovation Lead at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) added: “Improving access to self-care and health information for blind and partially sighted people is hugely important. Independence and choice is something we should all have, especially when it comes to looking after ourselves. More than 2m people in the UK are living with sight loss, and by 2050 it will double to over 4m people. We’re delighted that Bayer and Zappar are collaborating and are now on a journey to ensure that packaging information is available to blind and partially sighted consumers through the use of the Zap Vision technology, and encourage other big brands to make that leap too.”

Canescool Soothing Cream Gel product is part of the Canesten brand within Bayer Consumer Health’s Women’s Intimate Health portfolio. The new pack design with AQR code is available on Amazon and in Boots stores now, with a wider distribution across other major retailers and pharmacies thereafter.

You can see a video demo of the AQR codes in action here.