The LifeLines project in Holland, started in 2007, is one of the world’s largest population based studies, offering unique data and biomaterial resources to researchers world-wide. Based in Groningen its main objective is to understand what factors differentiate health deterioration in individuals: why do people get old without problems and why do other people have severe illnesses when there is no specific difference in organ states.
Information about the health course of some 167,729 individuals (covering three generations) from the Netherlands is collected once every five years - for a total period of 30 years - which will provide a huge amount of data for cohort studies. The well developed infrastructure enables both large-scale and detailed epidemiological studies, down to gene environmental factors, in a broad range of diseases.
The physical storage as well as the data storage becomes an immense task: there is a large 'population' and the follow-up period covers the duration of a participant’s life. As well as a vast databank the physical samples need treatment, archiving and management in the biobank too. Blood and urine samples are stored via a highly automated laboratory system guaranteeing traceability. Samples are analysed and stored at -80 °C on the same day of collection, all with 2D barcodes. With some 8 million samples (and rising) the challenge of logging temperatures on up to one hundred -80 °C ultra cold freezers is a challenging one.
Jacko Duker, biobank coordinator, is an expert in handling large amount of samples and data. He advanced from working on the first large-scale biobank project in the UMCG in 1997 to became responsible for the design and deployment of the fully robotic liquid handling processes and workflow system at LifeLines. In 2010 Mr Duker got in touch with Dutch cryogenics experts, CryoSolutions, about a Planer system to manage, alarm and monitor his bank of freezers.
Responsible for the implementation of regulatory aspects of tissue collection and the operational design of the new facility, Mr Duker was looking for a system that could handle circa 260 temperature, door and humidity sensors and could expand as needed. Planer's ReAssure system, scalable from one up to a thousand sensors, offered him what he wanted - intuitive access to real time monitoring data through a selection of desktop or even mobile devices. The system supports over 50 different end point sensors, it can accommodate a demanding variety of inputs and, most importantly, is compliant. Being deployed via a web page, data is securely accessible from pretty much anywhere and independent of IT operating systems - meaning when Microsoft introduce the next version of Windows, ReAssure is unaffected.
See Jacko Duker's talk on this at LabTechnology show Utrecht June 5 http://labtechnology.nl/en/program/lectures/jacko-duker-2/
More on Planer's ReAssure monitoring system at
More on Lifelines at
More on Cryo Solutions at