Here at Verily, we believe the future of medicine will be patient-centric and data-powered, leading to people living longer, healthier lives. Many others share this vision, and we see these ideas taking root across the biomedical community. Over the last two years, we have been privileged to be part of the All of Us Research Program, an audacious National Institutes of Health (NIH) led project to invite a million or more Americans to help make that future real. Today, the All of Us Research Program is open for enrollment.

Verily, together with Vanderbilt University and the Broad Institute, is responsible for the All of Us Data and Research Center -- we are securely storing the data contributed by participants, cleaning and organizing it, providing researchers with tools to access and learn from it, and protecting participant privacy by ensuring that researchers only see the data they’re authorized to see.

We’re excited about many innovative aspects of this program, including:

  • Democratization of data -- we hope to build a vibrant community of traditional and non-traditional researchers, from individual citizen scientists to PhD researchers at large institutions. We will provide an online workbench that allows researchers to explore how different factors -- like environment, lifestyle, and genes -- contribute to individual health.
  • Modern data science -- we are using state-of-the-art tools and techniques for securing, cleaning, and storing participant data. And we will offer a choice of tools for analyzing data, ranging from graphical browsers to database queries to custom analysis code.
  • Large diverse population -- the program aims to enroll participants reflecting the rich diversity of the United States, including those who traditionally have been underrepresented in biomedical research. Data from new communities opens the door to new insights and improved care for those communities.
  • Participants as partners -- participants will have access to the information the program learns about them, and are sharing ideas and feedback that shape the evolution of the program.

The All of Us program complements another significant effort at Verily, Project Baseline. We launched Project Baseline to map human health at a deep level, uncover new insights about health and disease, and pave the way to proactive care. We hope that these studies, with a participant-centric vision and complementary protocol designs, will encourage everyone to participate in research, accelerating innovation and improving care.

Programs like All of Us and Project Baseline are at the leading edge of a new generation of data-intensive research. These programs come with the need for a new generation of analysis tools, so authorized researchers can unlock the value of collected data. In October of 2017, Benedict Paten of the University of California at Santa Cruz posted a vision for a Data Biosphere, a modular open ecosystem of tools and services, built by and for the biomedical community. Verily, along with many others, is committed to developing the Data Biosphere, and using it to accelerate insights from data contributed by All of Us participants.

With the launch of All of Us today, the world took a big step on the journey to a healthier future. We’re eager to play our part.

All of Us is a service mark of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Posted by David Glazer, Engineering Director