Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

All of Us

All of Us

David R. Nelson, M.D.
Interim senior vice president for health affairs, UF President, UF Health

Betsy Shenkman, Ph.D.
Chair, Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, UF

UF Health is taking part in an ambitious nationwide research effort with the goal of trying to accelerate research and improve the health of all Americans. The All of Us Research Program hopes to gather health information from a cross-section of 1 million or more people in the United States over the next decade to help shape the future of health care.

Researchers around the world will use the data gathered by All of Us, a National Institutes of Health initiative, to study the impact of differences in lifestyle, environment and genetic makeup on individual health. To be successful, the program needs participants who care about improving the health of everyone, people who are willing to share information about themselves that could help cure diseases in our lifetime.

You can learn more about this initiative when the All of Us Journey arrives at the University of Florida’s academic health center, outside the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and at Gainesville’s Depot Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Those interested in being part of this nationwide effort can visit a specially equipped vehicle and check out interactive exhibits. They can ask questions of the staff and fill out a contact card so staff can reach out to them later. People can also choose to have the risks and benefits to this research study explained, and if you agree, you can enroll in the project at this time.

Those who agree to participate later will complete online health surveys and, in some cases, be asked to go to a partner center to have their physical measurements taken and to provide blood and urine samples.

This initiative represents a new chapter in precision health, which is a fundamental shift to more proactive and personalized health care that empowers people to lead healthy lives. It takes into account factors like where you live, what you do and your family health history. The goal is to be able to tell people the best ways to stay healthy. If someone does get sick, precision health may help health care teams find the treatment that will work best. Unlike a single research study focused on a specific disease or population, All of Us will serve as a resource for thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions.

UF is among more than 25 institutions chosen to implement the All of Us Research Program. UF is part of the SouthEast Enrollment Center network, led by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and including Emory University and the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. The network will work with the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium, whose coordinating center is led by the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. This network aims to strengthens the program’s reach into underserved populations, including lower-income, Hispanic and Latino, African-American, Native American and rural communities. UF’s goal is to enroll 20,000 participants over the next five years.

In this era of ubiquitous avenues of online information, and the companion concerns about privacy and high-profile data breaches, All of Us has taken great steps to safeguard participant information. All data, including your genetic data, are encrypted on protected computers that are security-tested regularly. Participants’ names and other direct identifiers, such as your address, are removed and replaced with a code.

The data will be accessible to researchers in the U.S. and around the world to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs. There are strict rules researchers must follow to access the data to keep participant information secure.

For precision health to succeed, researchers and clinicians need the best information about the populations they serve. Such medical databases already have led to new discoveries in areas ranging from cancer treatment to the reduction of medical treatment errors. Researchers have homed in on disparities in health care, shown how preventive services can reduce mortality, and influenced health policy decisions on a national level.

Advances in technology are transforming health research today at speeds unthinkable in the not-too-distant past, enabling instant collaboration among scientists around the world. These advances are leading to new ways to tailor prevention and care strategies to patients based on their genetic composition and health history.

People like you.

Visit the All of Us Journey

The All of Us Research Program is a nation-wide research program that seeks to enroll one million people and they are looking for your help. Through health surveys, electronic health records, physical measurements and more, researchers are able to take the information you provide in this study and use it to advance precision medicine.

Precision medicine is health care that is based on you as an individual. It takes into account factors like where you live, what you do, and your family health history. Precision medicine’s goal is to be able to tell people the best ways to stay healthy. If someone does get sick, precision medicine may help health care teams find the treatment that will work best.

The All of Us Journey is coming our way to see what makes Gainesville unique and you’re invited.
You have two chances to visit:

  • September 21, 2018

    In front of the Harrell Medical Education Building
    Behind UF Health Shands Children's Hospital
  • September 22, 2018
    Depot Park
    Also featuring the UF Mobile Outreach Clinic

Find Out More

You can join the All of Us program today by visiting: https://www.joinallofus.org/en

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