Data Sharing Solutions for Biobanks for the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Authors: Shonali Paul and Mrinal Kanti Chatterjee

Journal: Biopreservation and Biobanking (BIO)
August 19, 2020; Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; DOI: 10.1089/bio.2020.0040

Abstract: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel illness, which is not fully understood. Whether an individual has traveled outside their respective country or never left their community, COVID-19 is a highly contagious illness, which can result in high death rates. Biobanks will play a role in providing tools to examine data from those receiving treatment along with reviewing the current and long treatment outcomes associated with this novel coronavirus disease. A diverse, global network made up of laboratory scientists, clinical researchers, epidemiologists, data science teams, physicians, and so on must have a standardized, collaborative, virtual biobanking solution to share clinical expertise and evidence-based solutions. This virtual biobank must be centrally managed to ensure standardized quality assurance and quality control efforts. Virtual biobanks will eliminate the need to transport samples between two locations for a specific study, minimizing the risk of contamination. It is necessary for virtual biobanks to upload imaging data from those patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Standardized, collected information will be essential in the area of discovery and validation of disease markers as well as novel therapeutic strategies. It is essential for biobanks to collect COVID-19 specimens along with corresponding clinical and demographic data from COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Because COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness, proper collection procedures must be in place to collect respiratory samples for biobanking purposes. A preconfigured purpose-built COVID-19 Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is an efficient tool to seamlessly manage a data sharing network. Data entered into LIMS will be beneficial in designing much needed clinical trials to address any unmet needs to better address clinical treatment and outcomes. The partners or entities associated with the COVID-19 data sharing network will be able to effectively communicate, view data, and images associated with their respective research interest to advance COVID-19 research and data driven, clinical care.

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