One Million People in a Study? Your Chance to Help Advance Personalized Medicine!
By Jeemin Kwon and Kelly Close
Learn more about the All of Us Research Program, a massive national effort to collect individual health data to support precision medicine research
Diabetes type: Anyone can join, including people without diabetes
What is the program? Unlike other trials that diaTribe has covered, which typically examine a specific drug, device, or lifestyle program, the All of Us Research Program is focused entirely on data collection in a huge population – over one million people! The research will use electronic health records, surveys, and eventually genetic sequencing to better understand how environment, lifestyle, and genes can affect health. (Each element of data collection is “opt-in,” meaning participants can choose, for example, to do only the surveys but decline to grant access to health records.) Once the database is created, researchers will be able to apply to access the information for all sorts of studies.
Why is this new/important? Organized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this study aims to accelerate precision medicine, which is essentially highly personal healthcare. Participation does not involve medical treatment; instead, it allows people to contribute their data and help improve the future health of the United States. The program is committed to explaining health data back to the participants themselves, which is relatively new and exciting in medical research. Currently, there are about 30,000 individuals in the preliminary program. On May 6, the All of Us Research Program will launch for everyone in the country. However, you can still begin the signup process here!
What the program is measuring: The program will ask basic questions about where people live, overall health, family, home environment, and work. Participants can also volunteer to provide access to their electronic health records, which will give researchers many more details about their health history. The study will invite some individuals to travel to a participating health center to collect additional health data, including height, weight, waist measurements, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood and urine samples. We very much hope glucose will be measured as part of the blood panel! Eventually, the program hopes to sequence the DNA of everyone in the study who volunteers to do so.
Trial length: Up to 10 years, but participants may choose to leave the program at any point, though we certainly hope that people choose to continue contributing.
Do you qualify?
Anyone living in the United States with an email address (required to create an account to participate) over the age of 18 can join this program. The program plans to open enrollment to children sometime in the next few years.
Where to get more information:
Click here to sign up!