Novartis Pharmaceuticals launches the first app for visually impaired people for use with the Apple Watch and other smart watches

Basel, June 30, 2015 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals announced the release of new features for its ViaOpta applications, and the extension for use with smart watches. The discreet, hands-free nature of using ViaOpta app with wearable devices, such as Apple Watch and Android Wear, provides users with an experience that seamlessly fits into their existing routines allowing those with visual impairments to navigate daily life with even greater ease. To see these applications in action, click here for a short video demonstration.
Real-World Patient Benefits “With the help of ViaOpta apps, people with impaired vision can do things such as walk to a nearby café, go to the pharmacy, and pick up their grandchildren at the kindergarten – helping to increase confidence and independence and maintaining discretion,” explains Ian Banks, Chair, The European Forum Against Blindness (EFAB).
ViaOpta Nav is the first turn-by-turn navigation app available for a wearable device designed specifically for visually impaired people, providing voice guidance and vibration settings, which alert the user to upcoming intersections and landmarks. The users can ask for their exact position, add waypoints to a calculated route, and find nearby destinations or landmarks and save them as favorites. Users and their caretakers can also share and access a person’s exact location.
Cutting-Edge Technology “Novartis is committed to providing innovative solutions which go beyond medicine, like these apps for the visually impaired which benefit their daily quality of life,” said David Epstein, Head of Pharma Division, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “We are proud to contribute and play a role in making these simple and convenient tools like the ViaOpta Daily and ViaOpta Nav apps available around the world.”
Globally, more than 285 million people live with vision impairment and blindness1. In order to reach as many of these people as possible, ViaOpta apps are now available in several languages with additional languages currently in development.

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