Sight problems inspire pharmacist’s invention

A pharmacist has developed an award-winning app which enables smartphones to recite medication instructions out loud.

The Our Pills Talk app is the brainchild of Sydney pharmacist Steve Cohen (pictured), who wanted to help people who struggle to read medication labels due to a health condition or language barrier.

He hopes the app – which scans a pharmacist-generated QR bar code pasted on the box and converts the text to speech in over 30 languages – will reduce medicine mishaps and even save lives.

Mr Cohen says his creation, one of four winners of the apps4nsw competition in 2013, grew out of twin passions for IT and medicine.

“I grew up very short sighted and was always concerned about people’s ability to read things.”

When he found out what a Quick Response bar code he started thinking about how to make the information audible.

“Then I put