Managing Multicenter Collections at FIND Diagnostics


FIND Diagnostics (FIND) is a global non-profit organization driving innovation in the development and delivery of diagnostics to combat major diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations.

FIND conducts clinical studies across multiple countries in Asia, Africa, South America, etc., in infectious diseases like HCB/HIV, TB, COVID, etc., and stores the specimens in a central biobank USA. FIND is also working on setting up a biobanks network (FIB) to facilitate easy access of high-quality specimens to researchers in the respective countries.

FIND has been using OpenSpecimen since 2017 to manage collections from countries across Africa and Asia and store specimens in a central biorepository in the USA.

In this webinar, Stefano Ongarello, Head of data services, and Anna Mantoski, Biobank data scientist, talk about their OpenSpecimen usage and research activities.

High-Level Statistics of OpenSpecimen Usage

  • ~500,000 specimens for TB, Malaria, Fever, HCV/HIV, and COVID19.
  • ~20 studies across ~40 sites
  • Distributed ~70,000 specimens to more than 250 researchers.

OpenClinica Integration

FIND uses OpenClinica as their EDC platform, where individual sites register participants in OpenClinica along with their clinical data. Krishagni’s OpenClinica integration plugin pulls this information into OpenSpecimen regularly.

The integration avoids duplicate data entry and human data entry errors.

Reporting at FIND

OpenSpecimen allows FIND to track specimen collections in “real-time” across different sites and generate reports.

Some examples of reports are:

  • Get the report on incoming and distributed specimens per month
  • Create reports for stakeholders, e.g., shipped orders by date
  • Get metrics on turnaround time for specimens

What FIND achieved using OpenSpecimen?

FIND Integrated Biobank (FIB)

FIND is now working on an international network of biobanks where specimens are stored locally as per protocols defined by FIND. FIB helps faster access of specimens to the researchers and scale the biobanking operations globally.

The FIB network members use OpenSpecimen, and specimens will also be accessible in a central Specimen Catalog for easy access to the researchers.

“We believe that OpenSpecimen is the best solution for FIB (FIND integrated biobanks). Everyone collaborating with us can have access to it. It strengthens and empowers our collaborators because it adds a more sustainable infrastructure to global health settings at sites. In our case, the sites can access our FIND-OS instance or get their site-dedicated instance. We don’t have to worry about harmonizing our data because all sites have one platform for specimen collections. Sites opting for dedicated instances can start collections independent of FINDs sponsorships. The data from all the sites is pulled into the OpenSpecimen data warehouse.” said Anna.

Full Video Recording: