Google aims to translate hand-scribbled doctors’ notes and prescriptions using AI

Google aims to translate hand-scribbled doctors’ notes and prescriptions using AI

After decades of jokes (and legitimate complaints) that doctors’ handwriting can be largely inscrutable, Google has decided the easiest way to fix the problem is to train a computer to read those illegible prescription notes for you.

According to a report from TechCrunch, the future feature will be built into Google Lens—the search giant’s image recognition app. An early version of the tech was spotlighted at the company’s annual conference in India.

Built with the help of pharmacists, the artificial intelligence program will start with a cellphone snapshot of a handwritten doctor’s note. The app will then highlight any medicines listed by attempting to decipher the physician’s quickly written shorthand.

While AI has been able to pull snippets of text out of images for years, prescription penmanship has always presented a particularly difficult task.

“Ironically, what makes prescriptions hard for computers to digitize is the same thing that makes them hard for you and me to read—they’re unstructured, in shorthand, and full of clues for pharmacists to decipher,” Manish Gupta, Ph.D., research director for Google Research India, wrote in a company blog post.

Gupta added that human pharmacists will be kept in the loop, with no medical decisions being made solely based on the technology, which is still under development.

The company also outlined AI efforts for scanning and understanding changing agricultural landscapes as well as an initiative to collect and transcribe speech data of the more than 100 local languages spoken across India’s 773 districts.

error: Content is protected !!