Video: NIH's Personalized Medicine Mission


Eric Dishman discusses NIH's most ambitious research program, the All of Us Research Program, that's collecting data on millions of Americans to advance personalized medicine.

Eric Dishman

3 min read

Editor's Note: The following is one of many top highlights from last year's Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit. One keynote speaker, Eric Dishman, Director, All of Us Research Program, National Institutes of Health (the largest funder of biomedical research in the world), emphasized to attendees that one of healthcare's greatest hindrances is that patients are often considered as just another data point. Here, we present his in-depth perspective on breaking free from this mindset.

Eric Dishman At The 2018 Health Innovation Summit

Video Highlights

  • [03:27] “If you think about our healthcare paradigm today, one of the most difficult things is to unhinge ourselves from this mainstream mindset. New communities around the country feel like they’ve ‘arrived’ when they’ve got their own hospital. It’s sort of a marker of their progression and success as a community.”
  • [05:30] “It was not that long ago that EKGs or ultrasounds or defibrillators were big iron pieces of equipment only housed in a medical mainframe where only experts could actually use them. Three or four Christmases ago, home defibrillators were one of the top gifts that men over 40 who were white wanted as a present. These disruptive technologies are enabling us to shift left and move the node of care to the workplace, the home, the car, and the community in really powerful ways. But our care models and business models are so stuck in the gravity of mainframe mindset, we are having difficulty reaching velocity at any scope and scale moving forward.”
  • [07:42] "If we want to make precision health — which saved my life — available to everybody, then we're going to have to figure out how to do precision research and distribute that research beyond the mainframe."
  • [10:09] "...The All of Us research has partnerships with folks like Walgreens or Quest who can distribute capacity for collecting reliable blood samples, reliable saliva samples, and reliable urine samples throughout the country. But if you can actually get to mobile locations where people are, or send it to them directly, that's a radical disruption to the research paradigm."
  • [10:30] "If we want health everywhere, we're going to have to figure out how to do research everywhere...."
  • [12:07] "The biology is important but if our research doesn't become more holistic, and look at the whole iceberg, and we don't collect a whole holistic data set about people, then we're not going to get to the point where we can personalize care."
  • [13:15] "This is our mission. How do we accelerate health research and medical breakthrough enabling eventually individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us. Not just the average of the people studied so far."
  • [14:32] "If we do that well, then we will deliver one of the largest, richest, biomedical data sets ever and we want to make it as easy, safe, and free as possible to use as researchers all over the world."
  • [15:27] "What are the differences? First, the diversity of people...and participant centeredness. This is a radical act. We have many clinicians very worried and we're going to do this in a responsible way...'if they want their raw data, they can go use it somewhere else?' That's exactly what we're going to do."
  • Eric Dishman