In addition to collecting information about lifestyles, genetics and health histories, a project that has landed temporarily in Clark County brings up interesting questions about the future of medicine.
The “All of Us” project, developed by the National Institutes of Health, has set up shop through Friday as part of a nationwide data-collection enterprise. A clinic is in operation at 5800 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., in the parking lot of Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, and U.S. citizens 18 and older are welcome to participate. The national goal is to eventually gather data from 1 million Americans to help advance medical treatments.
As the NIH explains: “Unlike research studies that are focused on a specific disease or population, ‘All of Us’ will serve as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers will use data from the program to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biological makeup can influence health and disease.”
Initially proposed by the Obama administration, the 10-year, $1.5 billion project launched last year and presents a promising approach to the future of medicine. But it also raises questions about its ultimate effectiveness.
The goal is to advance the burgeoning field of precision medicine, which the National Cancer Institute explains as “an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease.” But Leigh Turner, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota told HealthNewsReview.org: “We need less hype and more honest accounts of the very serious challenges involved in developing highly tailored therapies for patients.”