In September 2020, the Consortium BBMRI.pl, which is responsible for organizational and technical preparations for the Polish Biobanking Network, deployed the newest version of the IT central system. Its primary goal at the moment is to offer some basic functionalities to the unlogged researchers interested in gathering information about available specimen collections stored in Polish biobanks.
The previous versions of the system were aimed at providing database access for the limited group of the employees of the Consortium biobanks. They had to register and log in first, and their main task was to populate the central database with the information describing their biobanks’ collections. They had been provided with the standard functions for creating, modifying, and deleting the relevant data.
At that time, one of the most anticipated functionalities of the system was the ability to compare biobank collections data previously uploaded to the BBMRI-ERIC Directory with those presently stored on the Central Platform. In case that the synchronization between two databases is needed, an authorized operator can do it online thanks to the electronic application programming interface (API) established between the Central Platform and the BBMRI-ERIC Directory.
The most recent version of the system provides the unlogged users with a simple tool for browsing through the biobanks and their collections with the basic search and filter options. We are fully aware that these options are not very sophisticated at the moment. However, we wanted to start a dialogue with potential users by allowing them to have access to real data. We will introduce a significantly improved search module at the beginning of the next year.
The second recently deployed functionality on the Platform is a registration form for the Polish biobanks that are not the members of the BBMRI.pl Consortium, but which want to use the Central Platform as a tool for the promotion of information about them and their resources. We expect that about two dozen biobanks will join the Central Platform by the end of the next year.
At present, we are working with the UX specialists to improve the graphical user interface, including landing page implementation. However, next year we will implement several significant functional extensions to the system. The plans include:
(1) collecting basic data about individual samples that will be electronically uploaded by biobanks to make central searches more effective,
(2) more convenient and sophisticated search module for investigators,
(3) an interface to national health registers when the appropriate regulations are introduced.
You will find the Central Platform of the Polish Biobanking Network on the website https://polskasiecbiobankow.pl