Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Google is working on software to “decipher” doctor’s handwriting

Doctors proverbially have bad, careless or, written in haste, very illegible handwriting. Google has announced that it plans to incorporate a system that can read it into its Google Lens image content recognition option


1 min read

At its annual conference in India, Google announced that its Google Lens system could soon make life easier for patients, pharmacists, and doctors around the world. Software that normally serves to recognize content in images and visual searches could soon get a very useful addition. They will recognize, they say, the typical illegible handwriting of doctors who quickly write prescriptions for their patients, and everyone else then struggles to “decipher” their instructions.

Doctoral OCR
On this project, Google is collaborating with pharmacists, who usually have the difficult task of reading doctors’ scribbles, to create algorithms capable of reliably and quickly doing the same thing – recognizing what the doctor prescribed for the patient.

Google Lens has recently become an integral part of their Chrome browser (taking over the role of reverse image search) and is also available as a separate mobile application. For now, it is able to recognize objects in images and, for example, take the user immediately to a page where some of the recognized objects can be purchased. Likewise, this application can currently recognize “normal” handwriting and, like an OCR tool, convert it into digitally readable text.

When it comes to handwritten prescriptions, those created in “doctor’s handwriting font”, it was announced that patients and pharmacists will be able to take photos of illegible manuscripts with their mobile phones or upload them to the application from the gallery, in order to get an interpretation. As with shopping on the web, the application will immediately recognize the mentioned medicines and offer additional information about them.


According to Google, India has the largest number of Google Lens users in the world. This new possibility is being developed there, so it is likely that it could be launched there first. They did not talk about the deadlines for that.






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