Bayer Consumer Health UK has launched an Accessible QR (AQR) code on its Canescool Soothing Gel Cream product packaging.

This initiative aims to enhance accessibility for individuals who are blind or partially sighted, making crucial product information readily available. 

Collaborative innovation

Developed in collaboration with augmented reality developer Zappar and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the AQR codes are compatible with accessibility apps, including Envision, Microsoft SeeingAI and Zapvision’s reference app.

Pioneering accessibility

The companies claim Canescool is the first women’s intimate health brand worldwide to adopt AQR codes, benefitting more than 200,000 registered blind or partially sighted women in the UK. 

Bayer Consumer Health cluster lead, Northern Europe Mike Knowland said: “This digitally inclusive transformation is a major step change for us, as well as the whole healthcare category. 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.”

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Inclusive engagement

These codes offer structured product information through text-to-speech functionality. Users are also directed to a dedicated landing page on the Canescool website for expanded product details and a knowledge quiz. 

RNIB accessibility innovation lead Marc Powell commended Bayer and Zappar for their commitment to improving access to health information.

Powell said: “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.”

The Canescool Soothing Cream Gel, part of Bayer Consumer Health’s Women’s Intimate Health portfolio, featuring the AQR code, will be available on Amazon and in Boots stores from October 2023, with plans for wider distribution across other major retailers and pharmacies.