New Smartphone App Works As Pill Identifier Tool

New Smartphone App Works As Pill Identifier Tool

Researchers from the US National Institutes of Health are currently developing an app that can identify pills using an image captured with a smartphone in less than one second.

Although websites such as and WebMD currently have pill identification tools — it’s the time required to enter detailed descriptions of drugs which can make such services too time-consuming for use in a clinical setting.

Jesus Caban and colleagues are working on a handheld image-analysis software that can distinguish the shape, color and imprint of most widely prescribed pills from a simple smartphone snapshot, according to a report from New Scientist.

Currently, the software has performed with a 91% accuracy in identifying 568 of the most prescribed pills from images taken in a variety of angles and lighting conditions. The biggest challenge is the app’s inability to identify pills captured from awkward angles — something that researchers expect will be improved upon going forward.

So far, this mobile pill identifier shows huge potential as a useful tool — both at home and for health care professionals.