Traditionally, health care has taken a one-size-fits-all approach in developing treatments and strategies for the “average” person - but these treatments may not work well for individual people, because everyone is unique. How can medicine and research take individuality into consideration in tailoring treatment and prevention strategies for more effective health care?
Precision Medicine is a data-driven strategy that takes into account a person’s environment (where they live), lifestyle (what they do), family health history and genetic makeup to give health care providers the information they need to make customized recommendations for people of different backgrounds, ages and regions.
There’s a catch! Medical research hasn’t always been inclusive of everyone living in the United States. Some groups of people have not been included in research in the past, including racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, and people with disabilities. This means researchers know less about their health today, and that is one reason people in some communities have more health problems than others.
Precision Medicine can only be effective for everyone if we make data from people with diverse backgrounds and lifestyles available for biomedical research. The All of Us Research Program is working to support Precision Medicine in this way, by building a diverse database that can inform thousands of studies on a variety of conditions.
How can public libraries support Precision Medicine?
Public libraries are community hubs for activity, access to technology and information, and education. Libraries can support health and wellness in their communities by showing patrons how to find and use trusted sources of health information, which can aid them in making decisions about their health and that of their loved ones. By offering programs in the library that create awareness of how medicine, research and health care are evolving to be tailored to individuals through Precision Medicine, you can keep your community informed on significant advancements in research and health care, and help them understand the importance of participating in research programs like All of Us, to diversify the data available for biomedical research.
The NNLM All of Us Program Center (NAPC) creates programs and services to support you in offering programs about Precision Medicine at your library.
- Apply for an NAPC community award to host a health programming or All of Us Journey event.