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Empire introduces "talking" prescription labels

More than 420 pharmacies across multiple banners will offer the new technology

Empire Companies Limited is now offering "talking" prescription labels for individuals with visual impairments.

Called ScripTalk, the service is available at more than 420 pharmacy locations across its Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA in Western Canada and FreshCo banners.

With ScripTalk, pharmacists can code prescription labels using radio frequency identification technology (RFID). Patients then use a hand-held prescription reader, which is provided free of charge, or a dedicated mobile app to hear important prescription information and instructions.

"ScripTalk is an easy-to-use yet innovative technology that is breaking barriers for those who are blind, have experienced vision loss, or are otherwise not able to read vital prescription information," said Jim Johnston, vice-president of operations in-store pharmacy, Sobeys Inc. "With this technology, we're empowering our patients to independently manage their medications safely at our pharmacies, in their homes, or wherever they may be."

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind estimates there are 1.5 million people living with sight loss in Canada, ranging from mild to very severe sight loss. ScripTalk allows this population to manager their medications more safely and independently.

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