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J Electrocardiol. 2003;36 Suppl:139-44.

PhysioNet: an NIH research resource for complex signals.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The Research Resource for Complex Physiologic Signals, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is intended to promote and facilitate investigations in the study of cardiovascular and other complex biomedical signals. The resource website ( has 3 interdependent components: 1) PhysioBank is an archive of well-characterized digital recordings of physiologic signals and related data, including databases of electrocardiogram and heart rate time series from patients with heart failure, coronary disease, sleep apnea syndromes, and cardiac arrhythmias; 2) PhysioToolkit is a library of open-source software for physiologic signal processing and analysis; and 3) PhysioNet, for which the resource is named, is an on-line forum for dissemination and exchange of recorded biomedical signals and open-source software for analyzing them. PhysioNet, in cooperation with the annual Computers in Cardiology conference, hosts a series of challenges inviting participants to tackle clinically interesting problems that are either unsolved or not well solved. PhysioNet invites contributions of databases and software from the biomedical community.

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