Health Care and Nonprofits

Health information exchange partners with specimen supplier

November 24, 2016
Text Size:
iSpecimen tray
ISpecimen says it provides "high quality, data-rich human bio-specimens to medical researchers." Photo via

A local health information exchange will provide human bio-specimens and data to a supplier serving the medical research industry under a new partnership.

Grand Rapids-based Great Lakes Health Connect, or GLHC, a nonprofit, has agreed to partner with Lexington, Massachusetts-based iSpecimen, a privately held company.

The partnership

GLHC’s network comprises 129 hospitals and more than 4,000 other members, all of which will have the option to provide patient-consented bio-specimens to scientists and researchers in the iSpecimen network. Participating hospitals are incentivized through the opportunity to repurpose materials typically discarded.

With GLHC’s access to more than seven million individual patient records, the health information exchange’s offerings have the potential to greatly expand iSpecimen’s network.

“The collaboration with iSpecimen supports our focus of creating care-connected communities, while directly advancing medical innovation and care through improved diagnostics and therapies,” said Doug Dietzman, executive director, GLHC. “The upside is tremendous.”

GLHC is the second health information exchange, or HIE, to collaborate with iSpecimen, joining the Delaware Health Information Network, which signed on about a year ago.

ISpecimen CEO Christopher Ianelli said the company is “excited” about collaborating with one of the country’s largest HIEs.

"With this agreement, they now join the ranks of forward-thinking organizations sharing their access to data and information for the improvement of medical research," Ianelli said.


GLHC transmits more than a billion messages annually across its network of 129 health systems and more than 4,000 other health care providers across the state of Michigan.

GLHC participants manage more than 90 percent of the hospital beds in the state.


ISpecimen sources custom bio-specimen collections from its network of hospitals, labs, repositories, blood centers and other organizations.

The company connects scientists with a supply of bio-specimens for research and to further advances in biomedical discovery.

Recent Articles by Jesse O'Brien

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus