from PhysioNet, the research resource for complex physiologic signals


An Introduction to PhysioToolkit

PhysioToolkit

PhysioToolkit is a large collection of software for viewing, analyzing, and simulating physiologic time series and signals. All of this software is free (open-source) under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which grants you the right to use, modify, and redistribute it freely. With very few exceptions, PhysioToolkit software runs on all of the popular platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, MS-Windows, and Unix.

The PhysioToolkit Software Index is organized by category. If you are looking for software to perform a specific function, looking in the index will help you find it quickly, with links to the home pages, code repositories, and documentation for each software component.

PhysioToolkit's tutorials and reference manuals provide a different perspective than the index, with in-depth information about these software components: what they do, how they work, and how to use them, individually and in combination, to perform complex tasks.

Many visitors use PhysioToolkit programs as tools for exploring PhysioBank and compatible data collections. Begin your exploration by installing the WFDB Software Package. Quick-start installation guides are available for FreeBSD, GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, MS-Windows, and Solaris.

Visitors sometimes ask how to read PhysioBank data with their existing software; our tutorial, How to obtain PhysioBank data in text form, provides easy-to-follow instructions.

Other visitors study the PhysioTookit programs themselves, either as reference implementations of algorithms or as starting points for their own software development. If this is your interest, dig into the code as you read the relevant manuals.

Although we provide precompiled (binary executable) versions of many PhysioToolkit programs as a convenience to visitors, all of the software is available in source form so that the algorithms can be studied, verified, and modified to suit the specific needs of your work.

Software packages that contain many files are usually available here as gzip-compressed tar archives (.tar.gz files). Instructions for unpacking these archives can be found in the FAQ.

If you use software from PhysioNet in a publication, please credit the author(s) of the software when referencing it. You can find authors' names, and in many cases their publications introducing the software, on the home pages for their contributions or in comments in the source code. If you are unsure how to cite a specific piece of software, please ask us!

Please also include the standard citation for PhysioNet:

Goldberger AL, Amaral LAN, Glass L, Hausdorff JM, Ivanov PCh, Mark RG, Mietus JE, Moody GB, Peng C-K, Stanley HE. PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: Components of a New Research Resource for Complex Physiologic Signals. Circulation 101(23):e215-e220 [Circulation Electronic Pages; http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/101/23/e215]; 2000 (June 13).