Specimen Data Management System

Updated: May 18, 2022

Edit this Page via GitHub       Comment by Filing an Issue      Have Questions? Ask them here.

After several years of working with cross-divisional, interdisciplinary research teams and key stakeholders across the Consortium, we are excited to announce that we are now implementing a Specimen Data Management System! In collaboration with these groups, we developed detailed tool requirements, evaluated top specimen data management tool providers and refined a robust and comprehensive data model, that resulted in choosing a tool that we believe will meet the diverse needs of our researchers.

Open Specimen For Specimen Data Management

OpenSpecimen is a highly configurable web-based Biobanking Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) used in 70+ clinical research centers across 20+ countries - including many of the world’s leading research centers. OpenSpecimen helps you collect High-quality Biospecimen Data and track biospecimens from Collection to Utilization.

Key Features

Collection Protocols Custom Forms and Fields
Design study calendar and track specimen collection and lineage. Create custom fields and forms based on the study needs using a UI form builder.**
Consents Freezer Management
Collect and track patient consent and validate during specimen distribution. Create containers to track any type of freezers.
Distribution Shipments
Track specimen distribution to researchers. Manage distribution invoicing. Ship specimens among collaborating sites.
Specimen Carts Specimen Catalog & Requests
Create carts (picklists), share with others, and perform bulk operations. Easily share data with researchers in one or more online catalogs and manage requests.
Dashboards Printing
Create visually appealing dashboards per study, catalog, or system level. Auto-generate unique specimen IDs and print labels.
CSV Import Audit & Security
Import CSVs for every object to add, edit or delete data. Every operation is audited for regulatory compliance. Single Sign On Enabled so that you don’t need to remember a separate password.**
TMA & Gels User Management
Track DNA gel loading and tissue microarray. Control user privileges at a granular level.***

** Currently managed for you by the Specimen Data Management Team only.

*** Some user privileges are controlled by the Specimen Data Management Team only. Roles can be assigned by the labs/groups as needed.

Refer to the full list of Key Features of the application here.

Click here to watch our video about Open Specimen’s features. Open Specimen Features - Video

Current Status

As of May 2022

We are live with our first group in Open Specimen - the Collection for Healthy Donors study that belongs to the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center (IIRC).

We will continue to build out the system over the next few months – we are currently working with the Translational Outcomes Repository, Barry Lab, Preclinical Modeling Core, Merkel Cell Cancers Program and Infectious Disease Repository teams and will be reaching out to the other teams that have signed up to begin onboarding activities. Our aim is to become as efficient in our onboarding processes as possible and scale up the speed at which we can get new teams into the tool.

Getting Started

If you are interested in using this tool to support your work, please fill out the OpenSpecimen Waitlist Form. We will reach out to your group as soon as we’re able to incorporate your group into the onboarding plan. If you have questions about the project or the status of your group on the waitlist you can inquire at SpecimenData@fredhutch.org.


The Specimen Data Management Project is funded to absorb the costs through the initial 2 years - the system we’ve chosen, Open Specimen, has a very reasonable annual maintenance cost, which in the future will be shared amongst several labs and will not ever be a big burden on any one lab. If you have any concerns about not being able to afford the system, please talk to us and we can work out a plan for you.

Updated: May 18, 2022

Edit this Page via GitHub       Comment by Filing an Issue      Have Questions? Ask them here.