Recently, Labmate Online reported on a new medical biobank of data on over 500,000 people made open by UK Biobank in Manchester, UK, to help researchers to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This biobank of data is being developed, managed, stored, and reported using our laboratory information management system (LIMS) for biobanks and biorepositories (Thermo Scientific LIMS) and I am extremely pleased to present a case study on this project!
Customer: UK Biobank
UK Biobank is a major medical research initiative based in Manchester, UK and its goal is to build the world’s most detailed medical information resource that can support a diverse range of research aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses and to promote health throughout society.
Challenges in Managing Biobanks
Some of the challenges in setting up this biobank included:
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- The medical data needed to be collated from numerous collaborative partners, such as university hospitals, pharma and biotech companies, contract research organizations and biobanks.
- There had to be flawless transmission of data between multiple laboratories, partner organizations, and regulatory bodies, such as the US FDA.
- The solution needed to provide online request management features, data compliance and security, instrument integration, chain of custody and patient demographics.
- Researchers need to be able to access samples when and where needed.
- The solution needed to provide traceability, patient security, and scalability as the datasets got larger.
The initiative, format of the study, data collection and management, and how our Thermo Scientific LIMS was selected by UK Biobank is described in this Customer Case Study: Effectively Storing and Analyzing Biological Data at UK Biobank (downloadable PDF).
I am also pleased to present a technical poster, The Cure for Your Biobanking Informatics Challenges (downloadable PDF) providing more details on sample management and storage, chain of custody, traceability and shipping, patient privacy as well as scalability and collaboration.
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