The national “All of Us” Research Program, which aims to accelerate the prevention and treatment of illness by recruiting a million or more research participants, provided a glimpse into its rapidly growing databank with the beta launch of its publicly accessible Data Browser application.
Since the program opened to participants a year ago, more than 143,000 people across the country have enrolled and completed the initial steps of the research protocol. Eighty percent are from communities historically underrepresented in research. More than half are from racial and ethnic minority groups.
So far, the program has collected more than 80,000 electronic health records and over 143,000 biological samples, from which participants’ DNA will be extracted. Ultimately this information will yield important insights into thousands of medical conditions, medications, and medical procedures.
The Data Browser represents the first major product of the program’s Data and Research Center. Josh Denny, MD, MS, Vice President for Personalized Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, serves as the center’s principal investigator.
“The Data Browser provides a ‘first look’ at the breadth and depth of data that participants are sharing in All of Us,” said Denny, professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
“Our goal is to help researchers from around the world begin to understand how they will be able to use All of Us to discover new insights into the effect of lifestyle, environment and biology on health and disease,” he said.
People 18 and older can join the program by logging on to https://www.joinallofus.org. They will be asked to provide health and lifestyle information through online surveys. They also can grant access to their electronic health records, which will provide researchers the ability to learn about patients’ diseases and treatments.
Some participants are asked to provide blood and urine samples and have basic physical measurements taken, such as height and weight. The data will be available to researchers to support potentially thousands of studies aimed at:
- Increasing wellness and promoting healthy living;
- Reducing health disparities and improving health equity in populations that are historically underrepresented in research;
- Advancing risk assessment and prevention strategies, and providing earlier and more accurate diagnosis; and
- Improving health outcomes and reducing the burden of disease by improving treatment and developing “precision medicine” interventions.