Google has been trying to solve one of the world’s most common and annoying problems – understanding the doctor’s handwriting on prescriptions. Most doctors pen prescriptions in a rush, making it difficult for the patients to understand the words. Several tech firms have been trying to overcome this issue for decades to no avail. Now the American search giant has announced that users will be able to decode the contents of prescriptions. Speaking at Google in India event in Delhi, Dr Manish Gupta (Google executive) gave a presentation on an AI (artificial intelligence) performing the task on a difficult-to-read note.
How Does it Work?
The feature is currently under research and is not yet available for general public use. Google said that it was working with pharmacists to figure out ways to decode doctors’ handwritten notes. As for the function, users can upload a picture of the prescription, and the AI will identify medicines mentioned within the text.
The company also said it would be an assistive technology for bringing the prescription in digital form by augmenting the pharmacists in the circle. It means that users will not be making a decision solely based on this technology’s result.
Will there be a New App for This?
There are no official details about when this feature will launch or whether it will be a new app. According to some reports, a tool can be created within Google Lens, which is already known for recognizing objects via camera and translating languages. Lens app is already capable of digitizing several handwritten texts as long as they are legible. Unfortunately, the doctor’s prescription is currently too far-fetched even for Lens. The multipurpose AI tool can otherwise help the users understand the world around them. It can provide information about whatever users see, such as locations, food, animals, plants, and even books.
Google in India
Google has more than 500 million users in India, where it showcases most of its new developments. At the event, the company also revealed that it was working to cover more than 100 Indian languages, including Hindi and Punjabi, for text and speech in a single, unified model.
Moreover, the technology company also announced a new feature that will allow users to search for specific things, places, or moments within YouTube videos. It will help save time as users can immediately look for whatever they want as soon as they spot them. This feature is currently in the testing phase, and more details will come later.
Despite being Google’s biggest South Asian market, India has penalized the tech giant twice for monopolizing its Google Play Billing System (GPBS). The Competition Commission of India, an antitrust watchdog, opened an investigation into Google in November 2020 for allegedly abusing Play Store’s dominance to promote its own payments service. In October 2022, it fined Google 162 million USD for anti-competitive practices and, after a week, fined an additional 113 million USD. The watchdog ordered Google to allow developers to use third-party services for making purchases.