The National Institute of Health rolls out its $1.45bn All of Us health initiative

By Catherine Sturman
The National Institute of Health is looking for volunteers who will work with them to revolutionise healthcare. Spanning 10 years, up to a million peop...

The National Institute of Health is looking for volunteers who will work with them to revolutionise healthcare.

Spanning 10 years, up to a million people will be asked to submit their DNA and record their biological, behavioural and environmental influences and much more. Both the healthy and the sick will be incorporated for the industry to better understand how to deliver world-class, precision medicine.

The US government has now launched a nationwide enrolment for citizens over 18 years to take part in the study, investing up to $1.45bn. Volunteers will be granted increased visibility over their health results, which can also be shared with the patient’s physician.  

Part of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), the data-driven study, called ‘All of Us’, will reflect the rich diversity of the US and enable providers and patients to work with researchers to develop innovative solutions and effectively become partners.

“Being able to bring communities of colour, not only to contribute to science but to contribute to our ability to understand the nuances within those populations,” commented Karen Kim, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago.

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“It is important for minorities to be a part of this or we again will be left with medications that are really created for other populations,” added Patricia R. Butts, Founder and President, Emeritus of the Abyssinian Baptist church health ministry.

All of Us will therefore seek to better understand common and rare diseases, which presently have no proven means of prevention of effective treatment to empower patients.

“So much of what we have done in medicine over the years has not really taken into account individual differences. We’re really building a fundamental base of knowledge about how humans stay healthy or get sick and what to do about it.

“I think the practice of medicine will be altered I profound ways,” reflected Francis S. Collins, MD PhD, Director, National Institutes of Health

 “It’s about health, it’s about disease, it’s about behaviour, it’s about environment – why not participate and be part of it? noted Philip Greenland, Director, Institute of Public Health and Medicine Center for Population and Health Sciences


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