In partnership with its participants, the All of Us Research Program is working to build one of the world’s largest and most diverse datasets to advance precision medicine research. UW-Madison, with UW Health, has been continuously engaged in AoU recruitment and enrollment in Madison and Milwaukee since 2017. Now, the program has opened its research platform, the All of Us Researcher Workbench, for beta testing. Once approved, researchers can begin using the initial dataset and tools in studies and report on what’s working and what can be improved. This moment is an important step in the program’s effort to accelerate new discoveries.
Bioinformatics and health services researchers will likely find the most value in the initial dataset, particularly for studies that evaluate the frequency of certain diseases or conditions. Research with a focus on health disparities and underrepresented populations will find the current dataset useful, given its size and diversity. This early version of the Researcher Workbench includes data generously shared with us from over 270,000 participants, over 80% of whom are from communities that are historically underrepresented in research, and more than 50% are of diverse races and ethnicities.
All of Us is committed to serving researchers of all kinds, and workshops and user studies are planned to gather more input from additional research communities, including citizen and community scientists and researchers in the private sector. Currently, researchers with NIH eRA Commons accounts may apply for access. UW Madison has completed the signed data use agreement with the program.
All of Us also adopted a “data passport” model to make the data broadly accessible. After researchers register with the program, agree to the rules, and complete the training on the responsible conduct of research, they will be granted permission to explore All of Us data for a wide range of studies, rather than determining access for all studies on a project-by-project basis. Ultimately, All of Us is expected to support thousands of studies on many different aspects of health and disease, leading to more individualized treatments and prevention strategies in the future.
We extend a warm welcome to researchers interested in exploring the Researcher Workbench. We want to design this platform with you, to make it the best resource it can be. Your comments and suggestions are central to that effort. Thank you in advance for being generous with feedback so we can improve.
– Dr. Josh Denny, CEO, All of Us Research Program