Development of a 3D-printed Medication Label for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Yijun Wong, Yihua Xu, Lifeng Kang, Kevin Yi-Lwern Yap

Article ID: 276
Vol 6, Issue 2, 2020, Article identifier:276

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This study explored the potential of three-dimensional printing (3DP) technology in producing a three-dimensional (3D) medication label for blind and visually impaired (BVI) patients to ease their drug administration. Different variations of label wordings, dosing instructions, and medication identifiers were designed with reference to guidelines by the American Foundation for the Blind. Shapes and symbols were used as dosing instructions and medication identifiers to the patient’s medical conditions. Prototype designs were created with common graphics computer-assisted drafting software and 3D-printed using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene as the polymer filament. Feedback was then obtained from five people with normal vision and four BVI persons. The initial prototype comprised four components, namely, medication name and strength, patient’s name, dosing instruction, and medication identifier. A revised label comprising the latter two components was developed after feedback by BVI persons. Words were in all uppercase and regular font type, with a 5-mm center-to-center letter spacing. Elevation heights of the letters alternated between 1 mm and 1.5 mm. A half sphere represented the medication dose unit, while vertical lines and a horizontal center line with alternating elevation of arrowheads represented the frequency of administration and the medication’s consumption in relation to food, respectively. Symbols based on target organs were used as medication identifiers. With rapid advancements in 3DP technologies, there is tremendous potential for producing 3D labels in patients’ medication management.


Blind, Medication label, Pharmacy, Prescription label, Three-dimensional printing, Visually impaired

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