Intel and Google Cloud Join NIH’s ‘All of Us’ Medical Data Research Program

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Intel and Google Cloud have joined the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us research program, designed to improve population health by making biomedical data from underrepresented groups available to COVID-19 researchers nationwide via the Researcher Workbench.

With a goal of recruiting 1 million U.S. participants from different backgrounds, the mission of All of Us is to build the most diverse health database of its kind and become one of the largest health research efforts in U.S. history.

To speed COVID-19 research, the program is prioritizing performing assays of serum collected between January and March 2020 to detect antibodies; collecting electronic health data from participants, including those who have tested or are presumed positive for COVID-19; and collecting data from recurring surveys about participants’ experiences during the pandemic. This biomedical data will be made broadly accessible to researchers through the Researcher Workbench, hosted on Google Cloud and powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors. To assist in this effort, Intel is funding compute credits to support data curation and research projects.

“The ability to manage, analyze and share data at scale will be critical in this effort to deliver equitable and effective care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Mike Daniels, vice president of Global Public Sector at Google Cloud. “We are proud to support this important effort in partnership with All of Us and Intel.”

To date, the program has enrolled more than 366,000 participants and received more than 279,000 biosamples for genomic sequencing, as well as amassed data from more than 233,000 electronic health records (EHRs) and more than 1.34 million completed surveys.

Already, 80 percent of participants who completed early steps of the program are from underrepresented groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, those with an annual household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and those who have a cognitive or physical disability, to name a few. Participants are asked to answer health questionnaires, provide access to EHRs, give physical measurements, and agree to collection and analysis of biospecimens for genomic assessment.

Driven by the belief that diversity is key to accelerating health research and better understanding health disparities, the All of Us Research Program aims to enable thousands of studies on a wide range of diseases, including COVID-19. The program’s Researcher Workbench data repository will help researchers learn more about the impact of individual differences in lifestyle, socioeconomic, environment and biologic characteristics in order to advance precision diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

“All of Us is dedicated to serving a diverse body of researchers who can come together to tackle our most pressing health challenges,” said Chris Lunt, the chief technology officer of the NIH All of Us Research Program. “We appreciate Intel’s contribution of research credits and Google Cloud’s computing power to enable novel analysis of our dataset to drive greater understanding of COVID-19.”

“We are excited to join Google and All of Us in offering compute for analyzing the most diverse health database in the world,” said Prashant Shah, global head of artificial intelligence for Health and Life Sciences at Intel. “The collection and availability of this data is essential to speed scientific research and discovery to not only fight COVID-19, but to also address health disparities in medical research for years to come.”