PhysioNet offers free access via the web to large collections of recorded physiologic signals and related open-source software. The PhysioNet web site is a public service of the PhysioNet Resource funded by the National Institutes of Health's NIBIB and NIGMS.
Although PhysioNet was established in 1999 with contributions from members of the PhysioNet Resource at MIT and Harvard, its data and software collections have grown enormously since then because of many generous and significant contributions from a worldwide community of researchers. By sharing common data sets, and software in source form, the research community benefits from access to materials that have been rigorously scrutinized by many investigators.
PhysioNet's data archive (PhysioBank) currently contains over 10,000 recordings of annotated, digitized physiologic signals and time series, organized in over 50 databases (collections of recordings). Among the best-known of these are several significant collections of multiparameter data from intensive care units, as well as an extensive set of ECG databases that includes most of those used for FDA-mandated evaluation of patient monitors. Individual recordings vary in length; although a few are on the order of a minute, most are much longer, including some that are several weeks in duration.
PhysioNet's software library (PhysioToolkit) contains over 100 tools for data visualization, data import and export in a wide variety of formats, physiologic signal processing, time series analysis, and development of software and databases. All of this software is available in source form, so that it can be studied, validated, and modified if necessary to suit the needs of individual researchers. With very few exceptions, PhysioToolkit software runs on all of the popular platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, MS-Windows, and Unix.
The PhysioBank ATM offers a way to explore the contents of PhysioBank using many PhysioToolkit tools, entirely within a web browser. PhysioNet also provides an extensive set of tutorials and reference materials to guide researchers in the use of PhysioBank data and PhysioToolkit software.