PALMETTO, Fla. (WFLA) – A Palmetto-based company is providing the visually impaired community with free technology to make everyday life a little easier.
En-Vision America created “ScripTalk,” a prescription medication-reading technology.
“It’s very user-friendly, as it only has three buttons on the top for operations and the on/off button is a wheel that’s at the front and it also controls the volume. So it works with text-to-speech technology and RFID, which is radio frequency identification,” said Director of Sales Amanda Tolson.
“And the pharmacy puts a special label on the prescription that’s RFID, it has all the text of a prescription programmed into it,” she added. “Then the device simply uses text-to-speech technology to then read back all that information to the user out loud.”
It was recently announced that Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies would be providing En-Vision America’s talking prescription labels at all locations throughout the nation and will provide them for free.
Tolson said the company’s relationship with Walmart and Sam’s Club began during a pilot program in 2012.
The technology went from being in just three test locations, to the mail-order pharmacy, to the about 1,200 locations it is in right now.
“This is the first time that Walmart and Sam’s Club has come out publicly and said ‘we are making this available to anybody who asks for it,’” Tolson said.
The service increases the safety and independence of the blind, visually-impaired and print-impaired.
Imagine if you couldn’t see what medication you were about to take.
“So if you could imagine having five prescriptions sitting in front of you, the first task if that you have to identify those. And some pills are very similar in shape and size. Sometimes you’re used to taking one pill and the pharmacy contracts with another generic company and so the pill shape changes the next month,” said Tolson.
The ScripTalk device, which En-Vision America also provides for free, gives users all the information about a medication, including how and when to take it and warning and precautions.
Tolson said all the feedback she’s received has been very positive.
“Some of the feedback I’ve got is ‘this has changed my life.’ ‘I can finally manage my own medications and it’s brought me independence that I’ve never had.’ ‘It’s given me the safety to do that.’ I’ve heard stories of parents who are blind and visually impaired, they were at risk of having their children removed from the home because they were unable to administer medications safely. And they were able to get ScripTalk and successfully keep their family intact,” she said.
“So that was a huge, huge, just amazing, great feeling that we got that we were able to help this family and keep them intact with these services. Because they’re free to the user and anybody that needs them. That was definitely something we were able to provide to them.”