Technology Connects Lab-Discarded Specimens with Researchers; Provides Labs New Revenue

By Kelly A. Briganti, Editorial Director, G2 Intelligence

Technology is making use of hospital and laboratory specimens that would otherwise be discarded by connecting those specimen sources with biomedical researchers. iSpecimen (Lexington, Mass.), founded in 2009, links researchers with specimens from participating health care organizations and announced a new technology this month that uses its cloud-based platform, de-identified electronic medical record data and big data analytics to customize and increase the speed of that process. The company explained in a press release: “Through this model, researchers gain access to the specimens they need from the patients they want and healthcare providers gain a new opportunity to contribute to biomedical research while improving their bottom line.” The company’s website indicates clinical laboratories can “increase their revenue by repurposing their clinical lab remnants.”

In May 2014, iSpecimen announced formation of a turnkey partnership program to “automate the selection, annotation and management of laboratory discards.” In June 2014, the company announced an $8 million Series B Financing that would help the company increase its scale of operations and expand partnerships with specimen sources. Using de-identified electronic medical record data, iSpecimen collects information about available and “soon-to-be-discarded” specimens from participating hospitals and laboratories including blood, serum, plasma, urine, tissue blocks and slides. The de-identified data provides information about the specimen including specimen type, test results, demographics, diagnoses and medications. Researchers can use this information to select specific specimens and thus “personalize” their research.

“Customized requests for biospecimens are surging as personalized medicine continues to take off,” said iSpecimen’s Founder and CEO, Chris Ianeli, MD, PhD, in the press releasing announcing the platform. “iSpecimen’s technology allows patients to donate their specimens to research and enables hospitals and scientists to compliantly use them, which ultimately leads to better healthcare for all.”

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