“All of Us” Research Program working to increase diversity in healthcare data
March 21, 2022
The All of Us Research Program is a platform to conduct research at University of Arizona-Banner Health. Its goal is to create a diverse databases of health information, which will allow researchers to understand and address health disparities in underrepresented populations. By studying data from a diverse group of people, researchers can learn more about what makes people sick or keeps them healthy.
According to the University of Arizona Health Sciences website, African American people have higher risks for many common diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke, and during the pandemic, health disparities became even more evident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that African American people are 1.7 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than non-Hispanic white people.
Dr. Karriem Watson, Chief Engagement Officer at NIH “All of Us” Research Program and Dr. Francisco Moreno, UArizona Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion discussed the impact this research program will have on the community.
“What we like to say is, medicine is not a one size fits all,” Dr. Watson said. The program will provide the opportunity to make medication, screenings and other health interventions more precise based on people’s individual needs.
“Historically clinical trials and research in general have usually a low participation and a low representation of racial minorities and other populations that have been historically underrepresented in research,” Dr. Watson said.
The “All of Us” research database has achieved something “unprecedented,” as over 79.5 percent of their participants are from “under-represented group” in biomedical research, and almost 50 percent of their participants reflect racial and ethnic minorities.
“Our database truly reflects the diversity of the U.S.'” Dr. Watson said.
Dr. Moreno said members of the community who would like to participate in the “All of Us” research program can reach out to any of the 13 enrollment cites throughout Phoenix, Tucson and Nogales.