Hightech from Bochum – ibdw relies on Kairos

The ibdw from the University Clinic in Würzburg – sponsored within the framework of the German National Biobanking-Initiative – uses the system solution CentraXX by Kairos. The IT-solution from Bochum will support the researchers in their search for the causes of diseases.

The days in which products from the Ruhr valley were mostly assembled in the heavy industry sector are of the past. By now the region has performed a structural transformation. The Kairos GmbH, a successful company from Bochum, can be seen as an example of this change. The software-experts located in the BioMedizinZentrum in Bochum developed special IT-programs for the establishment and operation of biobanks for medical research. Biobanks are collections of human biomaterials- such as tissue, blood, etc- that are linked to medical data and other information of their donors. The more intelligently the underlying information and organization system works, the more comprehensive and precise the scientific conclusions can be that are drawn by researchers. These conclusions aim at detecting the causes for widespread diseases such as cancer or dementia in order to be able to fight them more effectively.

As a both nationally and internationally renowned university clinic, the UK Würzburg (UKW) operates an interdisciplinary biomaterial databank (ibdw), with a centralized biobank for the purpose of researching and combating different diseases. Würzburg’s expertise in the field of biobanking and the concept for the development of a central biobank has convinced the federal ministry for education and research (BMBF). Consequently the BMBF chose to make the ibdw one of Germany`s flagship biobanks, and has been sponsoring the facility together with four other major biobanks under the National Biobank-Initiative. Just like any other research center that analyzes biochemical, molecular, and genetic factors in its search for the causes of diseases, Würzburg needs a comprehensive, efficient, validated, and quality controlled biobank administration-system. For this purpose the researchers from the Main are relying on the know-how from the Ruhr.

The Kairos GmbH from Bochum has specialized on the development of intelligent biobanking systems and has created the information portal CentraXX. The individual biosamples do not stand alone outside of any context in this system, but rather are always associated with a patient or a test person and their medical history. What is important here is that no medical information shown in CentraXX makes the identification of a test person possible. To this end information must be pseudonymized. The system by Kairos is embedded in the UKW’s existing IT-infrastructure and is equipped with particularly well protected interfaces to clinical documentation systems and registries. Created as a patient-/test person centered information system, the archiving function within CentraXX will be used as a supplement to the UKW’s electronic patient file, in order to save relevant data and facts regarding the course of a disease or a clinical trial, as well as data and analysis results regarding biosamples. The advantage: With every update regarding a patient’s medical history, the base of knowledge for a specific biomaterial grows as well. This longitudinally raised information turns a one-dimensional collection of sample information into a more dimensional information-cube that in its expansion contains current and archived clinical patient data as well as the connection to the sample. A tool for analysis provides doctors and researchers comprehensive search and evaluation functions for the data within CentraXX.

“In the end Kairos’ strategic focus and the functionality and flexibility that CentraXX provides convinced us during our search for a suitable system”, explains Prof. Dr. Roland Jahns, head of the ibdw, in respect to Würzburg’s decision for the IT-solution from Bochum.

“CentraXX is the only system that brings along the necessary flexibility and workflow support in order to fulfill our high requirements for sample management that has to be as automated and thus standardized as possible”, adds Dr. Michael Neumann, who is deputy director of the ibdw, and responsible for the IT.

“We are very pleased that we were able to deliver a piece of high-tech from North Rhine-Westphalia to Würzburg”, says Martin Zünkeler, managing director and founder of the Kairos GmbH. “We see an opportunity in Würzburg to no longer just use the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as fixed blue prints, but much rather apply them as a basis for a dynamic controlling of work processes (during operating time) as well as during the daily operation of the biobank.”

“Biobanks are a key component to successful research. This is why we developed a system that treated essential topics such as data protection, research transparency, and the best possible attendance of a biosample in all phases, from extraction all the way until its use in a research project, as top priorities by design from the very beginning” remarks Dr. Christian Stephan, managing partner of Kairos.

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