Imagine you are an EMT, you go on a call to a house and find a person passed out next to an unlabeled bottle of pills. You need to identify what they might have taken — with the Pillbox app you can take out your mobile device, search, and load high resolution photos, and making a positive ID.

Pillbox is a visual identification system (still in beta and not yet approved for clinical use) created by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.  It’s a tool for doctors, poison control centers, other medical professionals, and the public to quickly and accurately identify pills. There are also links to FDA data for each entry, giving the user access to side effects, overdose information, and contraindications.

Working with NLM/NIH data, we created the Pillbox app, using our Corona SDK. The NLM solid dosage form database was easy to work with, they have a well designed API for retrieving high resolution images.

Building the interface in Corona was easy.  The list of pills with images was created using the Table View Library and the tab bar, which allows the user to switch screens, was created using a new View Controller Library.  Scrolling for large images and detailed data was done with the Scroll View code.

The app not only runs on the iPhone, but from the same code we built the app for Android and iPad!

The Pillbox app, created with the Corona SDK made by Ansca Mobile, uses the NLM’s API to query the Pillbox database.  The app retrieves and caches XML and retrieves and caches image thumbnails and larger detail images.  It allows the user to make queries based on pill shape and other parameters with an easy to use touch menu.  Users can scroll through the list of selected pills, tap an item in the list, and view the pill at hi resolution and all associated data.

This is a new era of government and high tech industry collaboration to make data more accessible.

More about Pillbox:

Pillbox is featured at this year’s Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, DC.

  1. Nice to see Ansca taking a lead in developing a more robust, semi-“mission-critical” app to show off the current state of Corona.

    Will you releasing the source so we can see any optimisations and behind the scenes tweaks for stuff like consuming webservices, asynchronous image downloads and fast scrolling, faux-UITableViews? And dynamic layout switching between iPhone and iPad?

    – Ian

  2. Hi
    >> The app retrieves and caches XML
    I’m new in Corona and Lua authoring and I did’nt see anything in API’s about XML parsing and asynchronous mass data loading.

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