COVID-19 puts renewed focus on the urgent need to put diverse health data to work to support new discoveries and bring more precise prevention and treatment strategies to communities. A new commentary in Cell, co-authored by Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and Joshua C. Denny, M.D., M.S., chief executive officer of the All of Us Research Program, highlights seven opportunities to accelerate tailored medicine efforts and create a more equitable health landscape in the future.
The commentary covers key areas including huge cohorts, artificial intelligence, routine inclusion of genomics as part of clinical testing, deeper investigation of the role of phenomics and environment in health and disease, and returning value across diverse populations.
The authors highlight the role of large cohorts, like the All of Us Research Program, and the immense potential of such resources that aim to bring together diverse streams of information spanning genomics, social determinants of health, environmental exposures, electronic health record data, and wearable device data. They note that these resources offer tremendous opportunities for discovery across every area of medicine, but that an “open science” approach is needed for researchers to combine data across cohorts to maximize their impact on a global scale.