Date: March 10 2020
Summary: Overview of the Waveform Database (WFDB) record format
Keywords: ##summary #wfdb #dataformat #storage #healthcare #opensource #standard #archive
The Waveform Database (WFDB) Library is a record management system to handle already existing databases - it itself is not a database but a collection of tools to handle databases that follow the WFDB format.  Furthermore, WFDB can be used for viewing, analyzing, and creating recordings of physiological signals .
The way that the WFDB record format works is that it utilizes [pg 1, @moodyWFDBProgrammerGuide2019]:
Header Files to specify the characteristics of a signal (sampling frequency, etc.)
Annotation Files to record annotations corresponding to a signal (generally kept in time with the rest of the signal)
For example, when working with ECG data, the format utilizes the header and annotation files as follows [pg 2 - 3, @moodyWFDBProgrammerGuide2019]:
Header Files - could contain information about lead count, calibration format, etc.
Annotation Files - could contain other information such as beat positions.
WFDB is considered a standard data format within the research world, and has found application in industry as well.
The WFDB format is generally used for ECG records - however, it can extend to other data formats.
A possible alternative to the WFDB record format is the European Data Format+ (EDF+) [see @garciamartinezLoadingPlottingFiltering2017 for more information].
Zelko, Jacob. WFDB Record. https://jacobzelko.com/03102020061429-wfdb-format. March 10 2020.
 G. Moody, “WFDB Programmer’s Guide,” Mar. 08, 2019. https://www.physionet.org/physiotools/wpg/wpg.pdf (accessed Mar. 17, 2020).
 C. A. García Martínez et al., “Loading, Plotting, and Filtering RR Intervals,” in Heart Rate Variability Analysis with the R package RHRV, Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2017, pp. 15–28. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-65355-6_2.