Personalized Medicine (ORBIT)

Personalized MedicineThe Open-Access Robotic Biorepository and Informatics Technology (ORBIT) resource at Aurora Health Care is a library of genetically diverse patient specimens available to researchers for the purpose of testing new technologies. The samples provide de-identified health information on individual patients (e.g., age, race, weight, gender, presence of chronic diseases, tobacco use, etc.) that researchers may use in a variety of studies.  

ORBIT works together with the Research Analytics team to gather and provide de-identified clinical information for clinical trial recruitment and development of Investigator Initiated Research studies.

By advancing the science of pharmacogenomics, ORBIT and other biobanks around the globe enable scientists to share information for research and scientific discovery. Within the local community, knowledge gained from this project will continue advancing Aurora Health Care’s ability to provide care that meets the specific needs of each patient.

When patients agree to participate, blood left over from medical tests is sent to ORBIT. A robot barcodes the sample and stores it in a freezer. The barcode matches the sample with the patient’s electronic medical record. To protect the privacy of the patient, personally identifying information is not shared with researchers. Medical history is updated when patients return to Aurora for care, keeping information current and adding research value to the biobank.

Approximately 60 percent of Aurora’s patients who have samples taken for diagnostic purposes consent to participate in this project. With Aurora serving 1.2 million people each year, ORBIT promises to be one of the largest and most diverse biorepositories in the world.

Aurora’s library of biological samples has the potential to shorten the research timeline, get drugs and other medical therapies to people faster and reduce health care costs. ORBIT contributes significantly to taking research to the next level at Aurora.