High-throughput digitization of analog human echocardiography data

Alan C. Kwan, Gerran Salto, Emmanuella Demosthenes, Birgitta T. Lehman, Ewa Osypiuk, Plamen Stantchev, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Susan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Echocardiographic imaging has been acquired in historical longitudinal cohorts of cardiovascular disease. Many cohorts were established prior to digital recording of echocardiography, and thus have preserved their archival imaging on Video Home System (VHS) tapes. These tapes require large physical storage space, are affected by physical degradation, and cannot be analyzed using modern digital techniques. We have designed and implemented a standardized methodology for digitizing analog data in historical longitudinal cohorts. The methodology creates a pipeline through critical steps of initial review, digitization, anonymization, quality control, and storage. The methodology has been implemented in the Framingham Offspring Study, a community-based epidemiological cohort study with echocardiography performed during serial examinations between 1987 and 1998. We present this method as an accessible pipeline for preserving and repurposing historical imaging data acquired from large cohort studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101159
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Data preservation
  • Framingham offspring study
  • High Throughout Digitization of Echocardiography
  • Historical data
  • Longitudinal cohort
  • VHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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