Pill Image Specification
A key component of the Pillbox initiative has been coordinating the creation a library of standardized, high-resolution pill images. With the support of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the National Library of Medicine (NLM) acquired and photographed a large number of pills of different color, shapes, and sizes to determine the optimal procedures for imaging and composition of the final pill image. The pill images currently displayed in Pillbox are the result of this effort. Based on our research and feedback from the FDA and pharmaceutical industry, NLM has recommended a specification for how pill images should be composed and formatted.
(When talking about Pillbox, we use the word "pill" to describe any oral solid dosage form medication, which includes tablets and capsules.)
The SPLIMAGE file specification is available on NLM's DailyMed. It can also be downloaded as PDF document.
The Pillbox database contains images conforming to both the current SPLIMAGE specification (gray background with a ruler) as well as a previous specification (black background without a ruler).
Questions or comments about the pill image specification can be sent to Terry Yoo (firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions about the Pillbox initiative can be sent to David Hale (email@example.com)
Sample pill images