I work for a non-profit that sorts and ships donated surplus medical supplies to the developing world. We do all of our sorting and packaging of these supplies donated from hospitals or manufactures via the help of volunteers.
Supplies donated via manufactures are easily handled, as most things are in boxes and labeled. Our problems stem from supplies donated from hospitals. Many of these supplies are unlabeled and little information is given about them.
So, I was wondering, are there any unique search programs out there that could handle the job of searching for these items if we developed our own database? I had the idea of adapting facial recognition software, but that has proved to be too inaccurate (as many products are so irregular in shape and size, it's hard for the program to distinguish) and is way too computer intensive and slow. Additionally, I thought of a question based search process (i.e. What is it made out of? What color is it? How long/wide/tall is it? etc etc) and theoretically having an answer given via a 20 questions approach, but have had a really hard time finding an existing program that already does this.
Does anyone have any suggestions about a searching method that would would well for this purpose? Or know of a program that could preform my latter idea?