The National Institute of Health (NIH) recently announced that they have begun enrolling the first participants as beta testers of the All of Us Research Program.
The mission of the All of Us Research Program is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all.
The process commenced in July of 2016, when the NIH assembled a nationwide team of universities, medical centers, and technology companies to enroll participants and collect data and blood and urine samples. Preliminary pilot studies and focus groups were completed in order to learn from members of the public about their interests and questions concerning research participation.
NIH then developed a research protocol, including an initial set of surveys. Additional investments were made in a state-of-the-art biobank and built “big data” IT systems to transfer and store data, with safeguards in place to keep participants’ information private and secure. The process also featured feedback from dozens of organizations.
Finally, the NIH issued a funding opportunity to support engagement efforts with community partners large and small.
The goal of this effort is to build a community at least one million strong, with participants from all walks of life and parts of the country. By providing information about their health, lifestyles, and environments over the course of many decades, these volunteers will be important partners in helping create an unprecedented research resource to drive future discoveries. This resource will be easily accessible to researchers of all kinds, from citizen scientists to investigators in academia and industry, for studies on a variety of health topics.
If you’d like to stay on top of All of Us developments, check out https://www.joinallofus.org/.