The research program was established by the White House in 2015 (then known as the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program). Aims to collect the baseline characteristics of a million or more Americans.With the goal to improve health and treat diseases. By leveraging advances in genomics, emerging methods for managing and analyzing large data sets and using health information technology to accelerate biomedical discoveries, all while protecting an individuals privacy. It, however, will not focus on any specific disease but instead will be a broad resource for researchers working on a variety of important health questions.
Researchers have already seen successful precision medicine approaches in treating certain types of cancers. This cohort will seek to extend that success to many other diseases, including common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, obesity, and mental illnesses, as well as rare diseases. Importantly, the researchers will focus not just on condition, but also on ways to increase an individual’s chances of remaining healthy throughout their lifespan.
The large-scale cohort of 1 million or more participants who contribute genetic, environmental, and lifestyle information over an extended period will allow researchers to:
- develop ways to measure risk for a range of diseases based on environmental exposures, genetic factors, and interactions between the two;
- identify the causes of individual differences in response to commonly used drugs (commonly referred to as pharmacogenomics);
discover biological markers that signal increased or decreased risk of developing common diseases;
- use mobile health (mHealth) technologies to correlate activity, physiological measures and environmental exposures with health outcomes;
- develop new disease classifications and relationships;
empower study participants with data and information to improve their own health;
- and create a platform to enable trials of targeted therapies.
It is hoped that the 1 million participants of various race, gender and age groups will be reached by the year 2019. Fitbit devices are the first wearables to be used in the ALL OF US research program. And the company will distribute 10,000 Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Alta HR devices to collect user data. The number is only a representative sample, and initial results will be used to recommend how Fitbit’s wearables may be more efficiently employed in the national study. The Fitbit devices selected to track a combination of physical activity, sleep and heart rate parameters. Fitbit’s popularity, ease of use and multi-day battery life made Fitbit devices were a natural choice for the pilot. There have been many small-scale studies looking into wearables and finding notable things but nothing as large scale as the ALL OF US program to be used effectively for clinical research.