Welcome to the Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative – A3BC

One third of Australians suffer from arthritis, autoimmune or other musculoskeletal diseases, affecting adults, children and toddlers. These diseases cost Australia over $50 billion per year, account for the greatest disability, and further impact the community through substantial out-of-pocket expenses and reduced employment.

The Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC) is a national network of state-of-the-art biobanking, data collection/linkage and big data analytics/machine-learning for enabling and translating research discovery. It integrates a broad range of ‘omic’ (genomic, microbiomic etc), patient-reported (demographics, treatment, quality of life, diet etc), medical and administrative health data from people with arthritis and autoimmune disorders across Australia. The A3BC seeks to:

  1. Establish a national, best-practice, open-access (ethics-approved) biobank network to collect, process and store a broad range of high-quality biospecimens for innovative multi-omic arthritis and autoimmune research;
  2. Integrate multi-omic data with multiple national datasets, including patient-reported outcome/ experience data (Australian Rheumatology Association Database – ARAD), electronic medical records (~40 hospitals), Commonwealth data (i.e. MBS, PBS) and cancer/death registries;
  3. Apply cutting-edge visualisation (dashboards), big-data analytics and machine-learning tools to interrogate these integrated datasets for potential associations/patterns of patient and population significance; and
  4. Enable the translation of research discoveries into a comprehensive evidence base for improved musculoskeletal policy/practice across precision and preventive medicine – to give the right care, to the right patient, at the right time!

Please view our video below for an overview of the A3BC vision: