iSpecimen was founded by two pathologists and a technologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital who were constantly asked by Harvard scientists to “dumpster dive” for specimens – essentially go through their clinical lab discards to find samples for research. Thinking there must be a better way than manually hunting through medical records and lab results for biospecimens, iSpecimen’s founders developed technology for use at the Brigham to do the searching and the matching. That technology was the precursor to iSpecimen’s solution.
Seeing how much time and money this program saved for Harvard researchers, iSpecimen’s founders started iSpecimen. The company’s mission is to advance medical research by using technology to tap into the billions of human biospecimens that flow through hospitals, labs, biobanks, and other sites each year. The company developed a more robust, scalable solution to find biospecimens across dozens of clinical laboratory partners, thousands of specimen requests, and tens of millions of patients– all in real time.
Finding biofluids, solid tissue, and cells that match research requirements is difficult enough, but it’s not enough. Protecting patient privacy is paramount and requires understanding the myriad rules that cover the use of clinical biospecimens for research, and making sure that all federal, state, and hospital regulations are followed. iSpecimen founders spent years working with compliance, legal, HIPAA, and IRB experts to prove that the company’s technology and procedures enforce compliance at all levels, so that only specimens that meet regulatory requirements and protect patients’ rights are delivered to researchers.
iSpecimen’s vision may have started with clinical discards but now goes way beyond, and includes biobank samples and samples collected expressly for research purposes. From remnant solid tissue specimens to customized specimen draws from consented patients, iSpecimen’s goal is to make it easy for researchers to get any specimen they need in a timely fashion. The company was founded by pathologists who struggled to obtain specimens for research. But luckily for medicine, they saw the future of biospecimen collection.