With a focus on doctor’s notes and prescriptions, Google is creating an AI model that can interpret challenging handwriting. The Google search engine giant revealed on Monday at its annual conference in India that it was collaborating with pharmacists on an AI-powered machine learning model that could decode clumsily written medical notes.
A new artificial intelligence tool developed by Google is designed to be able to read and understand handwriting that is difficult to decipher, such as handwriting that is excessively messy or difficult to read due to poor penmanship. The tool is intended to help people understand written notes or prescriptions from their doctors, even if the handwriting is difficult to interpret.
During the event, Google displayed the feature, showcasing its ability to specifically identify medicines in a handwritten prescription. There is currently no information available regarding the launch date for the new text-decoding feature or the specific products that it might be included in.
Google Lens is an AI-powered multipurpose object recognition tool that can be used to detect objects such as products, and animals and translate languages. This technology has already been used in Google Lens. Currently, handwritten notes can be digitally translated using the Google Lens app, but in our tests, the feature was dependent on how legible the handwriting was.
Users will be able to upload an image from their phone’s image library or take a photo of the prescription to upload. The app then analyzes the image, to find the medications mentioned in the note.
Numerous headaches and worse have resulted from handwritten prescriptions. When pharmacists make errors while attempting to decipher cryptic writing, it may result in medication errors.
The problem of hastily written medical orders has long been acknowledged (and made fun of), and technology has attempted to solve it before. To completely replace the doctors’ pen and paper, pharmacy chains in the U.S. started testing e-scripts, or online prescribing systems, about 20 years ago. Additionally, electronic prescriptions are now frequently accepted.
Google said in a statement that the program will serve as “assistive technology for digitizing handwritten medical documents by augmenting the humans in the loop, such as pharmacists, but no decision will be made solely based on the output provided by this technology”
The system is still being developed, and Google said it will provide information on a wider rollout in the future. Even though messy handwriting is illegible, Google Lens, its all-purpose object recognition tool, can already transcribe handwritten notes.
Google has given the Institute for a Multidisciplinary Center for Responsible AI grants totaling $1 million, “This center will promote collective effort — involving not only researchers, but domain experts, developers, community members, policymakers, and more — in getting AI right and localizing it to the Indian context.
Failure to comply with the requirement may result in fines or even jail time in some states, such as New York. Additionally, the federal government requires physicians who routinely prescribe controlled substances to Medicare patients to substitute digital prescriptions for handwritten ones.
The in-progress product was positioned by Google as being most useful for pharmacists, and it was noted that pharmacist expertise was essential for teaching and developing the new technology.