iSpecimen has announced a new initiative in the battle against COVID-19 and other diseases-mobile phlebotomy support that will bring convenient, at-home sample collection to patients and donors interested in advancing research who would otherwise have limited ability to participate.
The mobile service extends iSpecimen’s ongoing mission to advance medical research by efficiently connecting researchers with patients, biospecimens, and the data they need to perform their important work. It also expands the company’s recent initiatives to identify, collect, aggregate, manage, and ship specimens from COVID-19 patients.
Beginning immediately, mobile phlebotomists will visit the residence of patients who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection but would prefer to stay home rather than visit a clinic in order to provide samples for research. A licensed phlebotomist will draw blood or collect other samples that will be quickly delivered to research teams for use in their studies. In the case of COVID-19 collections, direct-to-donor services help expand access to samples from post-symptomatic patients, which will help advance the development of treatments, therapies, and potentially a vaccine.
“As we’ve done for the past eight years, we’re helping medical researchers every way we can, even if in this case, it’s going out on the road to physically get samples,” said iSpecimen Founder and CEO Christopher Ianelli, MD, PhD. “We’re calling on everyone who has recovered from the infection to consider providing blood samples as a way of expressing gratitude to health care workers and helping the collective cause.”
To provide the service, iSpecimen has formed a partnership with myOnsite HealthCare, a company dedicated to mobile sample collection from consenting donors that opt for the convenience of having samples collected in their homes.
“Partnering with iSpecimen is a perfect way for us to help recovering patients assist the medical community and ultimately society,” said Mayank Trivedi, myOnsite HealthCare president and CEO. “Currently, we have an opportunity to engender growing support from donors to better serve the medical community in the race to find a COVID-19 cure.”
The mobile phlebotomy service is expected to collect highly sought-after donor samples in and around major U.S. cities, with an initial focus on recovered COVID-19 patients in the Boston and New York City areas. By eliminating the need for patients to spend time in clinic lines and waiting rooms, the mobile solution supports social distancing while also increasing the successful completion rate for longitudinal collection studies. The collected biospecimens will be used to better understand both the short-term and longer-term impact of a COVID-19 infection on immunity, allowing researchers the ability to study the level of COVID-19 antibodies present over time in blood samples obtained from people who were infected with the disease. Samples will also be used to help uncover biomarkers that correlate with various outcomes, e.g., asymptomatic resolution vs. serious or deadly symptoms. The data could also shed light on factors driving demographic disparities in outcomes.
As needed, the service can expand to support collections all across the United States for a wide variety of medical conditions and circumstances where the patient does not want to travel to a clinic to participate in research.
Since samples from recovered COVID-19 subjects are in high demand among researchers in pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, iSpecimen is actively recruiting recovered patients to participate in a variety of COVID-19 research projects. Patients who are interested in potentially donating samples should visit iSpecimen COVID-19 Donor Registration for more information.
If you are on the front lines of COVID-19 research and require biospecimens and data from COVID-19 patients, please contact iSpecimen or view a selection of current COVID-19 samples online.