The National Institutes of Health is getting close to officially launching its national enrollment campaign for the Precision Medicine Initiative’s All of Us research program, an effort to recruit more than one million volunteers to contribute their physical, genomic and electronic health record data.
NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, told a House hearing on Wednesday that the nationwide launch of the PMI cohort is just weeks away, with the ultimate goal of creating one of the largest and most diverse biomedical datasets of its kind for health research.
“Very soon, All of Us will start enrolling one million Americans—or maybe more—producing an unprecedented amount of data on how individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological makeup can influence health,” testified Collins.
In addition to providing blood and urine samples as well as access to EHRs, information will be collected from volunteers in the program through mobile technology, physical measurements, and surveys.
“All of Us will not focus on only one specific disease—rather, it will be a national data resource to inform many research studies on a wide variety of health conditions,” said Collins in his written testimony. “The data provided by one million participants will provide opportunities for researchers—including academics and citizen scientists—who want to understand how and why different people experience certain diseases and conditions while others do not, and why many people respond differently to treatments and prevention methods that will help accelerate medical breakthroughs.”
To date, the program has been in pilot testing and forming partnerships with regional and national medical centers, community health centers and those operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help to recruit volunteers. NIH has built a national network of healthcare provider organizations that will enroll All of Us participants, as well as gather their medical records, health data, and biospecimens.
The Mayo Clinic is will serve as the depository for blood and urine samples provided by volunteers. Vanderbilt University is serving as the primary data and research center and is working with Broad Institute and Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
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