The Marketplace also facilitates the sharing of specimens through our global network of biospecimen suppliers—including hospitals, labs, biobanks, and blood centers—by providing human biofluids, tissue, and cells for this research. In turn, provider organizations further fulfill their missions while recovering costs of managing specimen sharing in and out of their organizations.
As with any online marketplace, the biospecimen providers in our global network often need help getting started. One common challenge for biospecimen suppliers is determining the specimens and data that researchers need. With this information, providers are able to successfully prioritize collections in alignment with research demand. Another challenge is getting their vast inventories online and searchable. iSpecimen is here to help!
Many of our sample providers around the world have successfully met these challenges. Others are still working on them. We’re helping all specimen suppliers hit their stride in two new ways.
Increasing Transparency of Specimen Demand & Project Needs for Enhanced Supplier Matching
Sample providers in our network can now access a dashboard in the iSpecimen Marketplace of open research projects they can review and proactively submit proposals for when specimen and/or patient availability are a match. You can read more about this new capability here, covering the Open Feasibilities Dashboard on the iSpecimen Marketplace. This transparency also provides much needed insight into overall specimen demand across many projects, helping suppliers to prioritize collections accordingly over time.
As we know, precision medicine has intensified demand for specimens with very specific traits, making specimen collections harder to assemble. Accordingly, project information includes demographic traits of the patients from whom specimens will be sourced (sex, age, race, region, etc.), as well as blood type, medical conditions, procedures, and smoking status. The information also includes disease type, disease stage, genetic information, and specimen form—e.g., fresh, frozen, or formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (e.g. FFPE tissue).
This Open Feasibilities Dashboard simultaneously informs every potential supplier or motivated buyer of the specific biospecimens they have or can attain. Suppliers can also see which specimen projects have been flagged as high priority and therefore constitute an opportunity to generate revenue from projects underway. Additionally, the dashboard reveals the types of biospecimens that are likely to be in demand in the future, allowing suppliers to strategically curate their inventories accordingly.
“The new Open Feasibilities Dashboard gives us the ability to easily ‘shop’ for new studies on the platform in need of specimens,” added Jesse Lansdell, LVN, Clinical Research Coordinator, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System, an iSpecimen provider. “Given the many obstacles that researchers face when searching for specimens for their work, iSpecimen continues to innovate its iSpecimen Marketplace to help propel life-saving medical research forward.”
Streamlining Specimen Operations & Order Fulfillment with New Onsite Coordinators
Our commitment to supporting our partners and research customers is further demonstrated through the introduction of the Marketplace Onsite Program, in which we embed a coordinator at select partner sites to facilitate fulfillment of incoming sample and data requests from the iSpecimen Marketplace.
iSpecimen onsite coordinators help suppliers manage all of the details involved in fielding and executing researcher requests for specimen samples. These details could involve publishing inventories online, submitting proposals on the supplier’s behalf, establishing partnerships with other suppliers, and offering IT assistance for data management needs. As they work, the onsite coordinators will create lasting best practices.
“The Marketplace Onsite program is one of many internal initiatives focused on addressing our supplier constraints,” said Tracy Curley, our interim CEO. “This initiative aims to further support and expand our provider network while increasing access to biospecimens that are in high demand or are traditionally harder to find.”
Bringing Biospecimen Procurement Into the 21st Century
Both the Marketplace Onsite program and Open Feasibilities Dashboard help deliver on the promise of an online marketplace that streamlines procurement by efficiently matching researchers with the specimens they need from the target patients they want.
This support is a necessary step between the old ways of biospecimen procurement—weeks of phone calls and emails—and the entirely automated transactions of the future. Too often the old ways have held research back, with more than 4 in 5 researchers having to scale back their work because of difficulties obtaining biospecimens.
The work we do today is focused on helping our marketplace participants move away from inefficient workflows. With our help, researchers and suppliers can expect to dramatically minimize their effort and optimize their performance in the long run. And one of their performance measures is their contribution to medical progress.
Learn about the iSpecimen Marketplace where you can browse millions of richly annotated, de-identified human tissue and biofluid biospecimens, in addition to hematopoietic and immune cell products and COVID-19 samples. You can join for free.