The federal Department of Health and Human Services has begun to use QR codes as a way to raise awareness of AIDS. The agency will be using the codes with the new AIDS.gov website where a wealth of information can be found regarding the issue. QR codes are most often seen as part of marketing campaigns aimed at grabbing the attention of mobile, tech-savvy consumers. Indeed, the codes are begging to show up just about everywhere in the U.S. whether people know what they are or not. The agency is less keen to use the codes in gratuity and has determined that the codes will only be used within a meaningful context.
To this end, the agency will only place codes on materials that are clearly identified as being affiliated with AIDS.gov. When scanned, the codes will take smart phone users to the AIDS.gov website, which will be optimized for mobile viewing. HHS officials hope that by using the codes more people will be inclined to learn about AIDS and the problems, research and solutions associated with the disease.
Thus far, the codes have proven to be somewhat difficult to execute despite their simple nature. Many of the web addressed attached to the AIDS.gov website are quite long, surpassing the 40 character limit of QR codes. Using long URL’s would complicate the codes and make them too big to use on some printed materials. QR code scanning applications can also have trouble reading complex codes, rendering a smart phone unable to visit the website embedded within a code.
Despite some road blocks that have yet to be overcome, the agency is continuing its use of the codes in the hopes that more people will be made aware of AIDS.