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.
The pill image specification is available on NLM's DailyMed. It can also be downloaded as PDF document. Even though the specification's version number is 3.02 (as of 6/14/12), this is the first version that has been made publically available.
Currently, all of Pillbox's existing images along with pills photographed through a separate NLM project are being reformatted to this specification and will be sent to their manufacturer or distributor. Once that firm has verified these images, they will be submitted by those firms to the FDA to be included in the SPLIMAGE element of the appropriate Structured Product Label (drug label) and will be available for public use.
Questions or comments about the pill image specification can be sent to Terry Yoo (email@example.com). Questions about the Pillbox initiative can be sent to David Hale (firstname.lastname@example.org)
*When talking about Pillbox, we use the word "pill" to describe any oral solid dosage form medication, which includes tablets and capsules.
Sample pill images