Too often, biomedical research has suffered from a lack of diversity. People who are among historically underrepresented races, ethnicities, disabilities, health statuses and myriad other identities tend not to be well-reflected in such research, which can create gaps in medical and health care.

Without diverse enrollees, researchers lose out on information. And that deprives many people of the treatment and prevention practices that could help them achieve better health outcomes.

The National Institutes of Health is working to transform the status quo in biomedical research with the All of Us Research Program, an ambitious venture to enroll at least 1 million U.S. adults in the largest precision medicine initiative to date. The program, which officially launched May 6, seeks to expand precision medicine — medical care and prevention that explore the genetic, lifestyle and environmental influences on health — by including a more representative sample of Americans.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to be gained from more personal, personalized preventive health, and also treatment that really takes into account each of us as unique individuals,” Dara Richardson-Heron, MD, chief engagement officer and scientific executive for All of Us, told The Nation’s Health.

Continue reading this story from the July 2018 issue of The Nation’s Health.