The national repository of medical data known as "All of Us" has recently secured a substantial $54 million grant with the aim of diversifying its database. The initiative, led by Scripps Research Institute, is dedicated to recruiting individuals who will contribute to a more representative and inclusive range of participants.

Created during the Obama administration, the collection of personal medical stories has surpassed at least half of the way to the program’s million-person goal.

“We now say at least a million and we’re about halfway there,” said Scripps Institute's Julia Moore Vogel, program director for The Participant Center (TPC), a nationwide consortium, according to KPBS. “So we’ve recruited about 500,000 folks. There’s data now in the database that’s available to researchers on, I believe, more than 450,000. There are thousands of researchers accessing the data and many publications are already coming out.”

TPC received its grant from the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recruit, and retain, volunteers to help get people who represent all of the United States, including diversity in terms of health

“So in addition to race and ethnicity, that includes things like disability, low economic status, sexual gender minorities, etc.,” Vogel said.

Participants contribute to this endeavor by completing a comprehensive survey and offering a biological sample of blood or saliva. However, the involvement goes beyond a mere snapshot of an individual's health. 

Those who join the program have their well-being meticulously monitored for a decade. This accumulation of numerous health profiles within a single database empowers doctors to treat patients' ailments more effectively. They can identify other individuals whose health closely resembles that of the patient, thus guiding tailored and targeted treatments.

Those who provide a biological sample have their genomes mapped, allowing them to access important insights into their health risks. Additionally, All of Us offers the option to explore their genetic ancestry and uncover the origins of their forebears.

For those interested in taking part in the survey, visit the All of Us website or call 858-265-171.