December Data Sharing and Reuse Seminar

Friday, December 9, 2022

Drs. Roger Mark and Tom Pollard will present "PhysioNet: A Quarter Century of Open Health Data" at the monthly Data Sharing and Reuse Seminar on December 9, 2022 at 12 p.m. EDT.

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About the Seminar

PhysioNet is a data sharing platform that began as an outreach component for an NIH research project in 1999. Rebuilt in 2019 following FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), the platform has grown rapidly. It now serves over 55,000 registered users around the world with >30TB of data and is heavily used across research, education, and industry.

PhysioNet is a recommended repository for journals including the Springer Nature collection, eLife, and PLOS. It also supports regular “datathons” around the world, which bring together clinicians and data scientists to focus on important, unanswered questions in health research. PhysioNet has been a close collaborator of MIT Libraries and it is piloting their data citation service, helping to help establish datasets as primary research objects and to reward those who share. 

While the vast majority of data on PhysioNet is fully open access, the platform is unique in supporting training requirements and access control where necessary.  This allows researchers to share sensitive resources that would not be possible through typical data sharing platforms. Over half of all PhysioNet users (approx 35,000) have been “credentialed”, providing evidence of their identity and training in human research. PhysioNet was recently featured in an ORCID showcase due to its novel use of the ORCID Trust Markers as part of this process.

The software that underpins PhysioNet has been made completely open source and we are working to create a network of new, partner platforms. Repositories are being piloted by University of Mbarara in Uganda and University of Toronto, as part of the Temerty Centre for AI Research and Education in Medicine (T-CAIREM). More institutes are expected to follow suit, leading us towards a network of interconnected repositories. 

About the Speakers

Dr. Roger Mark, M.D., Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor in Health Sciences and Technology in the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Mark is a fellow of the IEEE, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and a founding fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Mark’s research activities focus on physiological signal processing and database development, cardiovascular modeling, and critical care decision support and predictive modeling. His group launched and maintains PhysioNet, the NIH-supported research resource that provides open access to major collections of well-characterized physiologic signals and clinical data. His group and others have continued to add data collections to PhysioNet, and it has been the basis of thousands of research publications world-wide. His NIH-funded project, “Critical Care Informatics”, is focused on transforming massive archives of critical care clinical data into new knowledge that will improve the efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness of clinical decision-making in intensive care. That project has developed large publicly accessible ICU databases (MIMIC) containing high resolution clinical data from hundreds of thousands of ICU admissions, and more than 35,000 individuals worldwide have been credentialed to use MIMIC. Dr. Mark’s own research has depended critically on access to physiologic and clinical data, and he is firmly committed to the importance of making such data freely available to the research community.

Dr. Tom Pollard, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at MIT’s Institute of Medical Engineering and Science, and the Technical Director of PhysioNet. His efforts center on sharing data for use in research, education, and industry, with a focus on critical care. Prior to joining MIT in 2015 he completed an interdisciplinary PhD on computational modeling of patient physiology at University College London, based between Mullard Space Science Laboratory and University College Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, Instructor for The Carpentries, and a Member of the MIT Task Force on Open Access. He serves on the Editorial Board of PLOS Digital Health and NPJ Scientific Data, and on the Committee for the Conference on Health, Inference, and Learning (CHIL).

About the Seminar Series

The seminar is open to the public and registration is required each month. Individuals who need interpreting services and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Rachel Pisarski at 301-670-4990. Requests should be made at least five days in advance of the event.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Data Science Strategy hosts this seminar series to highlight exemplars of data sharing and reuse on the second Friday of each month at noon ET. The monthly series highlights researchers who have taken existing data and found clever ways to reuse the data or generate new findings. A different NIH institute or center will also share its data science activities each month.

This page last reviewed on April 6, 2023