Cloudwave: distributed processing of "big data" from electrophysiological recordings for epilepsy clinical research using Hadoop

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2013 Nov 16;2013:691-700. eCollection 2013.


Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder affecting 50-60 million persons worldwide. Multi-modal electrophysiological data, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (EKG), are central to effective patient care and clinical research in epilepsy. Electrophysiological data is an example of clinical "big data" consisting of more than 100 multi-channel signals with recordings from each patient generating 5-10GB of data. Current approaches to store and analyze signal data using standalone tools, such as Nihon Kohden neurology software, are inadequate to meet the growing volume of data and the need for supporting multi-center collaborative studies with real time and interactive access. We introduce the Cloudwave platform in this paper that features a Web-based intuitive signal analysis interface integrated with a Hadoop-based data processing module implemented on clinical data stored in a "private cloud". Cloudwave has been developed as part of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) funded multi-center Prevention and Risk Identification of SUDEP Mortality (PRISM) project. The Cloudwave visualization interface provides real-time rendering of multi-modal signals with "montages" for EEG feature characterization over 2TB of patient data generated at the Case University Hospital Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Results from performance evaluation of the Cloudwave Hadoop data processing module demonstrate one order of magnitude improvement in performance over 77GB of patient data. (Cloudwave project:

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Software