Iowa City Hy-Vee pharmacies offer talking prescription labels

En-Vision America, creators of ScripTalk audible prescription labels, are in Iowa Hy-Vee pharmacies. They are eligible for everyone but target patients are those with visual impairments and reading drawbacks.


Dimia Burrell

Photo Illustration.

Samantha Bielema, News Reporter

ScripTalk, a device attached to pill bottles to read information aloud to patients, is now available at Hy-Vee pharmacies in the Iowa City area.

Hy-Vee implemented the devices last year via mailing at all Iowa locations, as other companies around the country have worked to get ScripTalk into pharmacies. The attachment had to be ordered upon request and was not readily available.

ScripTalk is a small, round speaker that attaches to the bottom of a patient’s prescription bottle. The device is pre-programmed to speak the contents of the label so the person can hear the medication type, dosage, refill date, and more without having to read it.

Christina Gayman, assistant vice president for Hy-Vee, wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan that ​​Hy-Vee introduced ScripTalk’s talking prescription labels in all its pharmacies in Iowa in mid-December 2021. She wrote it is a fairly new development for the company.

Erin Munroe, a ScripTalk user from Springfield, Illinois, said the product changed her life completely.

“It’s just been so cool,” she said, “I’m completely blind and I’ve always had to rely on another person to read me what was on the label and now it’s nice not having to rely on that other person.”

The option is available for anyone, but the main purpose is to serve those who are visually impaired or blind, print-label impaired, have low-vision, dyslexic, and reading disabled patients. ScripTalk ensures that patients and customers are taking the right medication.

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En-Vision America created ScripTalk to increase accessibility and eliminate prescription medicine hassles. The company partnered with several companies, but Hy-Vee was one they really pushed for because of their population in the Midwest.

“It basically acts as a safety feature,” said Jenna Reed, En-Vision America’s director of marketing.

The device also helps visually impaired patients keep their medication organized, Reed said.

Munroe said she previously relied on someone else to ensure she took the right medications at the right time. With ScripTalk, she said she doesn’t need someone else’s help.

“It tells you everything you need to know, there’s no more guessing game,” Munroe said.

Not all Iowa City residents speak English as their first language to navigate the terminology on medicine bottles.

ScripTalk is available in 26 different languages, including English, Reed said.

“It has all the key information that can be read out loud in the patient’s native language,” Reed said. “Even if the pharmacist doesn’t speak that language, they have access to that information in translation, as well as the patient’s doctors.”

The device is used as a translation platform as well through a mobile app, Reed said, allowing users to understand medical jargon.

“You can go really anywhere and request this and they’ll offer it to the patient,” Reed said. “All they have to do is ask for it.”

Gayman wrote Hy-Vee is entirely dedicated to the health and well-being of its patients and customers. With the new audio device, the company hopes to avoid hospitalizations of patients who ingest the wrong medication.

Gayman wrote that Hy-Vee strives to make health care more accessible and improve health outcomes.

“Partnering with En-Vision America to offer talking prescription labels was one more way we could increase accessibility in the communities we serve,” she wrote.