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Google Could Soon Help You Read Your Doctor’s Prescription

Google introduced a host of new features and endeavours at the eighth Google for India event on Monday, including its efforts to digitise doctor’s prescriptions and expanding its search functionality. The search giant’s new Multisearch feature lets users take pictures and screenshots and add text to their queries. Google also showcased the ‘Search in video’ feature that adds the ability to search within videos via the Search app on phones. Meanwhile, the company also announced support for accessing Digilocker documents securely via the Files by Google app on Android.

At its annual conference, Google announced an AI and machine learning model that can read handwritten prescriptions. Medical prescriptions are infamously hard to read and often require trained pharmacists to make sense of their contents. In its blog post explaining the feature, Google mentioned that the technology will be assistive in nature and will help pharmacists to digitising handwritten medical documents.

Google’s tool will identity and even highlight medicines present in the prescription. Users will be able to take pictures of a prescription and and identify medical information. The company, however, added that no decision would be made on the sole basis of the results provided by this technology. The feature is currently under development.

The company also introduced a Multisearch feature that expands the search engine’s visual search capabilities. According to the Google blog detailing the feature, Multisearch will users use images and text together in their search queries.

To use the feature, users can open the Google app camera, take a picture (or use a screenshot), and add text to their queries — “just as you would naturally point at something and ask about it,” as Google puts it. The feature is currently available in India in English and will extend to other Indian languages in 2023, starting with Hindi.

Google has also announced support for accessing authentic digital documents easily on Android, via Digilocker. Starting today, users can access their digital documents on Digilocker via the Files by Google App on Android. The feature was developed in partnership with the National eGovernment Division (NeGD), according to the search giant.

Additionally, Google also showcased a search within video feature at the event, tweeting about the video search function on Monday. The feature adds a ‘search in video’ button to all video-based results of a Google search query. Clicking or tapping that button will let users find precisely what they are looking for inside the video and skipping ahead to the relevant part.

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