The All of Us research program will this spring begin recruiting volunteers from across the U.S. to share their health data in a large-scale effort to accelerate research and improve the capabilities of precision medicine.
The National Institutes of Health launched the major initiative to gather health data of 1 million or more people living in the U.S. in order to assess the correlation between biology, environment and lifestyle and the effect these factors have on overall health and disease.
The All of Us research program will be a database researchers can use to run health studies. The data collected can be used by any researcher in the world, as long as they follow strict privacy and security rules. The hope is that researchers will use the data to achieve a wide range of medical breakthroughs that can lead to individualized care and improve health for future generations.
Precision Medicine Initiative
The program is a key element of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), an innovative approach to disease study, prevention and treatment. The NIH received $130 million to fund the large-scale research participant group, called a cohort, and $70 million was allocated to the National Cancer Institute to lead efforts in cancer genomics as part of PMI for Oncology.
The research program seeks to extend precision medicine to all diseases by building this national research cohort of U.S. participants.
Participants will be asked to contribute health data over 10 years during which time they will answer surveys and share their electronic health records with the program, according to an update in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Some participants will also be asked to visit a clinic or drugstore where physical measurements, blood, and urine samples will be taken. With the participants’ consent, DNA, biomarkers, and other health indicators will be analyzed from those samples.
Participation in the program is open to everyone in the hope that participants will reflect the diversity of the U.S. Those who sign up will be considered partners and have access to their information.
To learn more about the program, including what it means to be a participant, visit allofus.nih.gov.