Database Open Access

MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database

Published: Feb. 24, 2005. Version: 1.0.0

When using this resource, please cite the original publication:

Moody GB, Mark RG. The impact of the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database. IEEE Eng in Med and Biol 20(3):45-50 (May-June 2001). (PMID: 11446209)

Please 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 (2003). Circulation. 101(23):e215-e220.


Since 1975, our laboratories at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital (now the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and at MIT have supported our own research into arrhythmia analysis and related subjects. One of the first major products of that effort was the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database, which we completed and began distributing in 1980. The database was the first generally available set of standard test material for evaluation of arrhythmia detectors, and has been used for that purpose as well as for basic research into cardiac dynamics at more than 500 sites worldwide. Originally, we distributed the database on 9-track half-inch digital tape at 800 and 1600 bpi, and on quarter-inch IRIG-format FM analog tape. In August, 1989, we produced a CD-ROM version of the database.

Data Description

The MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database contains 48 half-hour excerpts of two-channel ambulatory ECG recordings, obtained from 47 subjects studied by the BIH Arrhythmia Laboratory between 1975 and 1979. Twenty-three recordings were chosen at random from a set of 4000 24-hour ambulatory ECG recordings collected from a mixed population of inpatients (about 60%) and outpatients (about 40%) at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital; the remaining 25 recordings were selected from the same set to include less common but clinically significant arrhythmias that would not be well-represented in a small random sample.

The recordings were digitized at 360 samples per second per channel with 11-bit resolution over a 10 mV range. Two or more cardiologists independently annotated each record; disagreements were resolved to obtain the computer-readable reference annotations for each beat (approximately 110,000 annotations in all) included with the database.

This directory contains the entire MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database. About half (25 of 48 complete records, and reference annotation files for all 48 records) of this database has been freely available here since PhysioNet's inception in September 1999. The 23 remaining signal files, which had been available only on the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database CD-ROM, were posted here in February 2005.

Much more information about this database may be found in the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database Directory.

Release Info

  • 07/06/2018: File 102.atr has been edited. Annotation number 1991 (0 indexed) has been shifted from sample 590296 to 590262. The original file is here: 102-0.atr

Related Databases

  • MIT-BIH Noise Stress Test Database. Twelve half-hour ECG recordings and 3 half-hour recordings of noise typical in ambulatory ECG recordings. The ECG recordings were created by adding calibrated amounts of noise to clean ECG recordings from the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database.
  • MIT-BIH P-wave Annotations This database contains reference p-wave annotations for twelve signals from the MIT-BIH arrhythmia database.

Additional references

  1. Mark RG, Schluter PS, Moody GB, Devlin, PH, Chernoff, D. An annotated ECG database for evaluating arrhythmia detectors. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 29(8):600 (1982).
  2. Moody GB, Mark RG. The MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database on CD-ROM and software for use with it. Computers in Cardiology 17:185-188 (1990).

Questions and Comments


Access Policy:
Anyone can access the files, as long as they conform to the terms of the specified license.

License (for files):
Open Data Commons Attribution License v1.0

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