Quetzal: open-access API for managing bioanalytics databases


The emergence of new technologies that enable quantifying ever more varied and profound aspects of human functioning such as behavior, physiology, or biomedical measurements, is accompanied by an increase in the complexity and volume of biosignal databases. In addition, the ethical stakes on the protection of personal data, combined with strict regulations such as new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), impose a high level of transparency, traceability and security on sensible data collection, storage and usage. As a result, the management of biosignals is becoming increasingly arduous and imposes heavy software infrastructures that require advanced engineering expertise to be operated.

In order to meet these challenges, we decided to contribute to the development of Quetzal, a free software platform that simplifies the management of bioanalytics databases. Objective: help researchers and teams to better deal with large bioanalytics and personal health databases implying advanced data & metadata operations and high privacy concerns.

Open access middleware application for the management of bioanalytics databases

Quetzal (short for Quetzalcóatl: the feathered snake) is a modern RESTful API designed to help researchers and teams organize their data and metadata files. In brief, Quetzal application offers the following main features:

  • Storage of datafiles based on cloud storage providers, which benefits from all features from the provider, such as virtually infinite storage size.
  • Unstructured metadata associated to each file provides complete freedom in adapting metadata to each use case.
  • Efficient and advanced data exploration. By leveraging Postgres SQL, unstructured metadata can be queried as JSON objects, letting the user express what subset of the data they want to use.
  • Metadata versioning. Changes on metadata are versioned, which is particularly useful to ensure that any data can be retrieved with perfect accuracy even if its structure evolved.
  • Endpoints and operations conforms to the OpenAPI v3 specification with defines a standard, language-agnostic interface for sustainable API engineering.

Need more?

Quetzal is freely available at https://github.com/quetz-al

It has been already deployed as a customized solution with multiple academic and industrial partners. OMI can offer consulting services and dedicated support. Tell us about your project (support@quetz.al), and let’s schedule a call !