ECG Database Applications Guide Table of Contents


dbtool - DB browser for SunView


dbtool -r record [ -a annotator ]


If you have access to an X Window System display (X11R3 or later), use wave(1) rather than dbtool. Wave is a substantially rewritten and greatly enhanced version of dbtool.

dbtool creates a SunView window for viewing the specified record. The mouse is used to control the display interactively. By clicking (with the left mouse button) on the `Record', `Annotator', `Start time', `End time', or `Find' fields it is possible to enter new values from the keyboard. Press RETURN when you wish dbtool to redraw the window based on the new value(s) you have entered.

The `Annotator' field is empty when the program is first started, unless an annotator argument was provided on the command line. If you enter an annotator name (such as `atruth'), annotations from the specified annotation file are displayed using the same format as in the examples shown on pages 99-177 of the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database Directory, except that each normal beat is labeled using an `N' rather than a bullet.

Changing the start (or end) time causes the window to be redrawn with its left (or right) edge corresponding to the selected time. dbtool always begins at an even multiple of one second, however. If both the start and end times are changed, only the last change is effective; use the `Set modes' popup menu (see below) to change the time scale if desired.

The buttons marked `<<' and `>>' move backward and forward by the width of the window when selected using the left mouse button; those marked `<' and `>' move by half the width of the window.

If an annotator has been chosen for display, you may enter a character string in the `Find' field. Each time you press RETURN (with the mouse pointer in the control panel and the `Find' field selected) dbtool searches for the next occurrence (beyond the right edge of the window) of an annotation that matches the specified string. If dbtool finds a match, the display is redrawn (roughly) centered on the annotation of interest. In general, the string you enter should match what you expect dbtool to display: an annotation mnemonic (such as `V' or `F'), a rhythm name (such as `(VT'), an integer for a signal quality change, or the text of a comment, ST change, or T-wave change annotation. The following strings can also be entered:

Matches all supraventricular premature beat annotations (including APCs, NPCs, and aberrated APCs)
Matches all ventricular ectopic beat annotations (including R-on-T PVCs, ventricular flutter waves, and ventricular escape beats, but not fusion PVCs)
Matches most other types of beat annotations (normal, bundle branch block, atrial and nodal escape, paced, pacer fusion)
Matches all annotations (useful for finding the first annotation in an incompletely annotated record)

A variety of display options can be set using the popup menu that appears when `Set modes' is selected. These can be used to display grids, to change scales, and to select annotation fields to be displayed.

Select the button marked `Log' to record the start and end times of the current window. You will be asked to choose a name for the log file the first time you use this feature. You can also enter a brief description of the contents of the window at the time you log it; the log file is stored in pschart script format (see pschart(1) ).

To exit, select the `Quit' button.

The shell variable DB should be set and exported (see setdb(1) ). This program runs on Sun workstations only.


No more than one piped record (see the ECG Database Programmer's Guide) can be viewed in a single invocation of dbtool. If the signal file is a pipe, it is possible only to search forward through it (although dbtool caches several of the most recently displayed windows, which can be reviewed in any case).

If the display resolution does not match the value compiled into dbtool, the scales will be incorrect. Scales can be checked by measuring the grid if necessary.


dbplot(1) , pschart(1) , view(1) , wave(1)

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