September 10th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

Identify pills with new NIH web tool

Poison control centers get more than 1 million calls a year about medicines that need to be identified. And maybe you've been in situations when pills seem to wander away from their labeled bottles, and you don't know what they are.

Now the National Institutes of Health is developing a way to quickly identify medications based on appearance. Pillbox, in its beta testing phase, gives possibilities for your mystery pill based on its shape, color, size, imprint, and "scoring" (how many pieces it could be broken into based on those little lines).

There's also an advanced search so you can go the other way: Search for a drug and see what it's supposed to look like. At this early stage, though, there are plenty of listings that don't have images. Pillbox has 10,562 records, but only 912 currently have images, the website says. The National Library of Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration are working on photographing more pills.

Pillbox has more uses than pill identification, said David Hale, developer of the NIH’s web tool.  He said it’s been used to teach pharmaceutical students, to list inactive ingredients in pills that people might have sensitivity or allergies to and to help law enforcement.

Hale made an announcement this week at the Gov 2.0 summit that new data were now available on Pillbox and that it was also giving access to tech developers to innovate ways to use the data. Pharmaceutical companies were invited to send samples of their drugs so more images could be placed into the system.

This tool is still under development and not intended for clinical use, the NIH warns.

Hale said Pillbox was released with the disclaimer to make sure “everyone is involved in the conversation and all stakeholders are validating the process in an open and transparent way.”

Here's more on how it was created from Mashable. It is intended for emergency responders, poison control centers, health care professionals, and everyone else.

Call the national Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect a poisoning emergency.

soundoff (888 Responses)
  1. auctions near me

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!


    June 12, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. lawn mower repair near me

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 12, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. walmart near me


    June 13, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. MileSwa

    generic cialis with dapoxetine generic cialis express delivery cialis for sale in toronto

    June 13, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. panda express near me


    June 13, 2021 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. walmart pharmacy near me

    Hi! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you have got here on this post. I'll be returning to your web site for more soon.


    June 13, 2021 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. greek food near me

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!


    June 13, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. barber shop near me


    June 13, 2021 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. tattoo shops near me


    June 13, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. fast food near me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    June 13, 2021 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. beauty supply store near me


    June 13, 2021 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. used furniture near me

    Good blog post. I definitely appreciate this site. Stick with it!


    June 13, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. free covid testing near me

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉


    June 13, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. asian food near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 13, 2021 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. check cashing near me


    June 14, 2021 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pumpkin patch near me


    June 14, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. fishing near me

    Hello there, I do think your site could be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, great blog!


    June 14, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. wing stop near me


    June 14, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. restaurants that deliver near me

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 14, 2021 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. ups drop off near me


    June 14, 2021 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. eye exam near me


    June 14, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 14, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.


    June 15, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Camper Repair Near Me

    You have made some decent points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    June 15, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely pleased I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    June 15, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 15, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this topic here on your internet site.


    June 15, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 15, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 15, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for providing these details.


    June 15, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Many thanks!


    June 15, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 15, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this site.


    June 15, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Iím amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.


    June 15, 2021 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this web site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!


    June 16, 2021 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Nearest RV Repair

    Good blog you've got here.. Itís difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 16, 2021 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Santa Ana

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Many thanks!


    June 16, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 16, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nearby RV Repairs

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the site is also really good.


    June 16, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. dominos pizza near me


    June 16, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. plumbers near me


    June 16, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 17, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 17, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs online. I'm going to highly recommend this web site!


    June 17, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repairs Near My Location

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 17, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repairs Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. supercuts near me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉


    June 17, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. seafood near me


    June 17, 2021 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.