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National Institutes of Health Launches Open Enrollment for "All of Us" Research Program

Posted By Margaret G. Ritchie, Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

On May 6, the All of Us Research Program will begin national enrollment, inviting people ages 18 and older, regardless of health status, to join this momentous effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds. Part of the National Institutes of Health, All of Us is expected to be the largest and most diverse longitudinal health research program ever developed.

 

Participants will be asked to share different types of health and lifestyle information, including through online surveys and electronic health records, which will continue to be collected over the course of the program. Those who join will have access to study information and data about themselves, with choices about how much or little they want to receive.

 

Data that are collected will be broadly accessible to researchers of all kinds, including citizen scientists, to support thousands of studies across a wide range of different health topics. By doing so, they are hoping to discover how to more precisely prevent and treat other health conditions. Knowledge gained from this research could help researchers improve health for generations to come.

 

Why All of Us is Important for Patients

 

Health care is often “one size fits all” and is not able to fully consider differences in individuals’ lifestyles, environments, or biological makeup. This is because we have limited data from past research studies about how those elements interact. The average patient is often prescribed drugs and treatments as if they are all the same. Learning more about the differences between individuals can help researchers develop tailored treatments and care for all people.

 

How All of Us Benefits Health Care Providers

 

Today there are too few conditions with evidence and options for individualized care. Historically, patients from underserved communities have been underrepresented, misrepresented or not included at all in clinical research, and our ability to care for diverse populations is diminished as a result. More data, discoveries, and tools can help providers give their patients customized care, especially for those communities that are disproportionately impacted by health issues.

 

Why Diversity Matters

Historically, many segments of the U.S. population have been left behind in medical research, including people of color, sexual/gender minorities, those with lower socioeconomic and educational status, rural communities, and other groups. The result is significant health disparities. The All of Us Research Program seeks to help fill in the gaps of information about those communities that previously have not been well represented.

How to Join the All of Us Research Program

The program is seeking one million or more people from all walks of life to participate in this historic endeavor. Those interested in joining the program can do so by visiting, www.JoinAllofUs.org. Enrollment is open to all eligible adults who live in the United States.

All of Us Events

To mark its May 6 launch date, the All of Us Research Program will host several community events around the country. Those interested can either view the events online or attend one of them in person at the following locations:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New York, New York
  • Pasco, Washington

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