NIH Launches Personalized Medicine Initiative Beta Phase

Marcia Frellick

June 07, 2017

All of Us, the Precision Medicine Initiative that aims to revolutionize the path to improving health, has launched its beta phase, according to Program Director Eric Dishman.

In a video announcing the launch, Dishman said on Tuesday, "This has been a long time coming, but it's a huge milestone.

"Over the next 4 to 5 months," he said, "the first 10,000 to 15,000 people will be recruited across more than 100 locations around the country, but you have to have a code to get in."

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania is the kickoff site and has enrolled the first participants.

This phase will allow the program's leaders to tweak the messaging, videos, and protocols and test systems. Public sign-up is set to begin in the fall.

The program, which began with a State of the Union address by President Obama in 2015, intends to get at least 1 million volunteers to sign up to contribute information on their genetic makeup, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, medical histories, and personal device and sensor data.

As reported in Medscape Medical News, the program is popular. A national survey found that 8 in 10 US adults support the effort, and more than half (54%) plan to volunteer their data. Support was consistent across most demographic groups.

Since last July, leaders have established a network of medical centers, universities, technology companies, and community partners to enroll participants and collect data and blood and urine samples. Pilot studies and focus groups have gauged what the public wants from the project and what people have concerns about.

"By providing information about their health, lifestyles, and environments over the course of many decades, these volunteers will be important partners in helping create an unprecedented research resource to drive future discoveries. This resource will be easily accessible to researchers of all kinds, from citizen scientists to investigators in academia and industry, for studies on a variety of health topics," Dishman said in a statement.

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