NIH’s ‘All of Us’ electronic health records study now open to everyone over 18

Newswire: May 7, 2018.

Dateline: Washington.

“All of Us,” the precision medicine research program introduced last May by the National Institutes of Health, is now open to all persons 18 and older nationwide. The program’s purpose is to collect electronic health records, and clinical, lifestyle and genomic data from a diverse population of at least one million to further the development of precision medicine.

“If we are to make the biomedical breakthroughs necessary to realize the full promise of precision medicine, researchers need a lot more data that takes into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology,” Francis Collins, the NIH director, wrote in a blog post announcing the development.

“All of Us” began with a beta testing phase in May 2017, seeking data from 10,000 people. Since then, NIH has expanded it, particularly in areas serving under-represented communities in the Deep South and Midwest. At the beginning of the year, it had more than 18,000 participants.

Those who choose to participate in “All of Us” contribute health records over time, either by sharing their electronic health records or by completing surveys, providing blood and urine samples, or contributing data from wearable devices.

Researchers will then use patient data to help deliver breakthroughs faster, including establishing new disease classifications and relationships, discovering biological signs that indicate greater risk, or creating platforms to enable clinical trials of targeted therapies.

The goal of“All of Us” is to reach one million volunteers or more sometime in the next five years. Children will be able to contribute data sometime within the next one to two years. NIH promises that advanced security measures will protect patients’ data and privacy.

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(front page image of NIH headquarters via Wikipedia)