Through its biomedical informatics research, the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC) develops advanced health information resources and software tools that are widely used in biomedical research and by health IT professionals, health care providers, and consumers. Established by a joint resolution of the United States Congress in 1968, LHNCBC is an intramural research and development division of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). Seeking to improve access to high quality biomedical information for individuals around the world, the LHNCBC conducts and supports research and development in the dissemination of high quality imagery, medical language processing, high-speed access to biomedical information, intelligent database systems development, multimedia visualization, knowledge management, data mining, and machine-assisted indexing.
OpenI is the service of the National Library of Medicine that enables search and retrieval of abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from the open source literature, and biomedical image collections. Searching may be done by text queries as well as by query images. OpenI provides access to over 1.6 million images from about 580,000 PubMedCentral articles and 7,470 chest x-rays with 3,955 radiology reports.
The RxIMAGE database is the Nation’s only portfolio of curated, freely available, increasingly comprehensive, high-quality digital images of prescription pills and associated data. Examples of pills are capsules and tablets intended for oral use.
Photographs of pills for the RxIMAGE database were taken under laboratory lighting conditions, from a camera directly above the front and the back faces of the pill, at high resolution, and using specialized digital macro-photography techniques. Image segmentation algorithms were then applied to create the JPEG images in the database.
Software developers can use the freely accessible RxIMAGE API to create apps for text-based search and retrieval from the RxIMAGE database.
The general public can use those apps to search for and retrieve images and data from the RxIMAGE database.
Usage example: A health care provider uses a mobile device to call up an app that executes an RxIMAGE API request to search the RxIMAGE database for an unknown pill by appearance. That may be the only way to identify the pills an unconscious person or an evacuee has on his or her person during a natural disaster.