Pill Image Collection available for open access download

Pill Image Collection is now open access and available from the NLM Data Distribution webpage

  • The Pill Image database is a collection of curated, freely available, 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 this collection 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.

The collection contains two sets of pill images:

   1) more than 4,000 reference pill images taken under controlled light conditions

   2) more than 133,000 consumer-grade pill images for training pill image recognition algorithms

The pill images are no longer updated. The project was discontinued in 2018.

Historical information about the project is available in the NLM archive at