NIH 'All of Us' precision medicine program shares first-year progress report

The leaders of the National Institutes of Health's All of Us research program released a report detailing the progress made in the precision health program's first year.

Since launching in May 2018, All of Us has expanded to more than 340 recruitment sites across the U.S., where participants aged 18 and older can contribute a variety of information — including questionnaires, EHR data and DNA samples for genomic sequencing — for the study.

Here are four key updates from the report, which was published Aug. 15 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

1. More than 230,000 participants have enrolled in the program as of July, with an additional 40,000 registered online, putting the study firmly on track to reach its goal of 1 million participants by 2024.

2. Of the enrolled participants, more than 175,000 have contributed biospecimens for research. Additionally, 112,000 have authorized their healthcare providers to upload their EHR data to the program.

3. A central goal of the study is to compile a broader and more representative database of Americans' health; according to the report, more than half of core participants are nonwhite, and 80 percent come from demographic groups that have historically been underrepresented in medical research.

4. Ongoing challenges facing the program include the need to develop ways to reach people who live in rural areas or far from recruitment sites; obstacles in allowing participants to send their own EHR data directly to the NIH, rather than via providers; and interoperability issues among various EHR data sources.

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