July 26, 2018
What if scientists had access to the biologic, genetic, lifestyle, and environmental data of 1 million Americans? Gathering just such data is part of one of the National Institutes of Health’s most ambitious research project to date – All of Us.
The National Institutes of Health has just begun enrolling 1 million people to develop a rich database of health information to help scientists improve medical care and ultimately create a future of precision medicine based on individual traits, specific exposures, and genetic backgrounds.
This exciting project has the potential to allow scientists to harness the untold power of genomics from a very large and varied population to solve medical mysteries and improve patient care.
The core values of the All of Us program are:
- Participation is open to all.
- Participants reflect the rich diversity of the United States.
- Participants are partners.
- Participants have access to their information.
- Data will be accessed broadly for research purposes.
- Security and privacy will be of highest importance.
- The program will be a catalyst for positive change in research.
Any adult in the United States may be a part of the All of Us project by consenting and completing forms online, contributing information about their medical history and lifestyle, and providing biologic specimens and access to medical records. The information gathered will be available to approved researchers to ask important questions that we hope will improve medical treatment both at an individual and population level.
It will take “All of Us” for this database to be created and used. I encourage each of you to consider participating and to spread the word.
NIH created a video to share the project’s message, and the Association of American Medical Colleges released a video to explain how academic medicine will benefit from All of Us.
Let’s hope this study becomes an important national resource to advance science and medicine.