Accessing what's on a medication label: is there an app for that?

iOS and iPadOS

Good morning all,

I got a prescription the other day and I figured since it's 2017, there has to be an accessible way to get at what's on the label. Since those are obviously specific to each person who gets one, I can't just Google it or look it up on directions for me. I saw a demo at a convention a couple years ago where they put this little speaker on the side of the bottle and you push a button and it reads a recording of what the label says. It was cool, but I remember thinking it would be a while before I saw that in the wild. Then I got thinking, is there an app that could help with that? I highly doubt something like KNFB would work, and be my eyes and bespecular probably wouldn't be a good idea either.

Any thoughts?



Submitted by david s on Sunday, July 2, 2017


I’ve had good results using KNFB reader on round containers including prescription bottles in addition to vitamins, plant fertilizers and so on. The only problem with this is when the app encounters an odd word such as the medication name.

I have Kaiser permanente as my health provider and they provide talking prescription labels. In addition, they also include printout of instructions that KNFB can easily read. Next time you get a presctiption, ask the pharmacist if they can provide a talking label.

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by JTran2013 on Sunday, July 2, 2017

I would suggest to try Prizmo Go to see if it helps you!

Submitted by gregg on Monday, July 3, 2017

I have not used this app, but from its description it may be what you are looking for. App store description:
Our Pills Talk, STEVE COHEN, Our Pills Talk is an app designed to assist the visually-impaired, dyslectic, autistic, the elderly, ESL (English-as-a-Second Language) patients, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, and those of us too lazy to read our medication labels.

Briefly, the dispensing pharmacist generates the patient’s personalized QR Barcode, then sticks it onto the patient’s medication. The patient, using their smartphone, scans this QR Barcode, converting their doctor’s prescription information and instructions from text-to-speech. The patient confirms that this is their correct medication by listening to the scanned and spoken information.

The QR Barcode can also be generated to include:

the drug’s CMI (Consumer Medicine Information), and/or a translation into any language of the patient’s choosing., Release Date: 04 Jan 2015 Swipe up or down to select a custom action, then double tap to activate.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Monday, July 3, 2017

Hello! I have a question. I'd like to check out this app as I have never heard of it. However, I do have a question. I don't take any prescription meds, but I do however take over-the-counter (OTC.) meds. I'm wondering if this app will read the information on the box/bottle? While I have sighted family that can help me, it'd be nice to be able to read the information on the box/bottle of OTC. meds independently. I'm one of those people who likes to look up what I'm taking, and read the labels on my meds. I'm very safety-conscious when it comes to medications OTC. or not. I know that I could probably use any OCR. app such as OCR Converts Photo Into Text, or Braigo, or Be My Eyes. But, it'd be nice to have an app that's dedicated to this purpose. Thanks in advance for any answers!

Submitted by peter on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

This is not an app but may be something that could help you with prescriptions. We did an episode of Eyes On Success about this device: 1328 i. d. mate quest & ScripTalk from En-Vision America (July 10, 2013) If you can’t read the packaging, it’s still important to know what’s in a container. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Anna McClure from En-Vision America about two products that convert all the information on a label into audio. The ScripTalk uses RFID chips to identify prescription medications and the i. d. mate quest reads bar codes or custom labels for almost everything else. Go to
and enter "1328" into the search field. Then you can listen to the show and/or go to the shows notes link for contact info and more. Hope that helps. --Pete

Submitted by Amanda Tolson on Monday, September 18, 2017

Hi Brian,

I just came across your post and wanted to touch base with some options through En-Vision America, Inc. We currently offer ScripTalk a prescription reader using RFID technology. The key is using a pharmacy that offers the service. En-Vision America supplies the ScripTalk for no charge much like the Talking Book Library. Although an IOS App is not quite available we are working on it now! Since this is RFID technology you will need to have an IPhone 7 or up to use the App when it is finished. The good news is we still have the ScripTalk reader you can use. Give us a call and we can go over the options with you. 800.890.1180 Currently there is an App on Google Play store for Android users.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Monday, September 18, 2017

I can only get seeing ai to read me part of the text. It's the most I've gotten with anything so far, though.

Glad you're making progress! Have you tried using Face Time to have a friend etc. tell you the info. on the label? I feel uncomfortable using Be My Eyes and Bespecular to do this. Good luck!

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ever since we subscribed to Aira, the visual interpreter for the blind, Allison and I have frequently used it to identify prescription and over-the -counter medications for ourselves and our 20-month-old daughter. I feel confident in the accuracy of the live, trained agents, and I am comfortable with their procedures for insuring my confidentiality. Please visit for more information and to sign up for this wonderful service.

If you are OK with volunteer assistance, consider getting the free Be My Eyes app or try Bespecular. Both are available in the iOS app store, and you may learn more about each app here on Applevis in the iOS app directory.

Best regards,


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