The MIMIC endeavour

18 juin 2018

The Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC) endeavour is led by the laboratory for computational physiology (LCP) at the Massachusett Institute of Technology (MIT), with the assistance of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Philips Health Care. The MIMIC III relational database comprises data from approximately 40,000 patients who stayed within intensive care units (ICU) between 2001 and 2012 at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusett. It covers more than 58,000 stays.

During each stay, dozens of vitals, waveforms, medication administration, diagnostic codes, laboratory measurements, notes charted by care providers, imaging reports, and more were recorded as part of the patients' routine care. All data were anonymized.

Remarkably, full open-access to its database lies at the core of the MIMIC endeavour. Only two prerequisites are required: signing a data use agreement, and completing a course in protecting human research participants. Moreover MIMIC III was released with MIMIC Code Repository: researchers who wish to publish results based on the MIMIC database are bound by the data use agreement to publish their code.

Sharing codes is scientifically virtuous. It globally speeds up research by allowing teams to benefit from codes written by others. It fosters transparency, reproducibility, and cooperativeness, by promoting constructive dialogue between teams, thus eventually leading to improved health care.

(A. Chambaz, T. Walter)


MIMIC-III, a freely accessible critical care database. Johnson AEW, Pollard TJ, Shen L, Lehman L, Feng M, Ghassemi M, Moody B, Szolovits P, Celi LA, and Mark RG. Scientific Data (2016). Available here.

The MIMIC Code Repository: enabling reproducibility in critical care research. Johnson AEW, Stone DJ, Celi LA, Pollard TJ. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Volume 25, Issue 1, (January 1st 2018), pages 32-39. Available here.