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Pill Image Collection available for open access download

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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The pill images are no longer updated.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.

If you are interested in the particular sub-collection that was used in the challenge, it is available on the Challenge website:

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