NIH Request for Information (RFI) on Integrating Environmental Data into the All of Us Research Program
Notice Number:
NOT-PM-22-001

Key Dates

Release Date:

May 4, 2022

Response Date:
May 31, 2022

Related Announcements

None

Issued by

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)

Purpose

This Request for Information (RFI) seeks input on how to best collect and integrate environmental health data into the All of Us Research Program dataset.

The All of Us Research Program

The All of Us Research Program seeks to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs to enable individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us. To do this, the program will partner with one million or more participants nationwide and build one of the most diverse biomedical data resources of its kind. Researchers may leverage the All of Us platform for thousands of studies on a wide range of health conditions.

Diversity is one of the core values of the All of Us Research Program. The program aims to reflect the diversity of the United States and has a special focus on engaging communities that have been underrepresented in health research in the past. Participants are from different races, ethnicities, age groups, and regions of the country. They are also diverse in gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, and health status.

Importance of Environmental Data for All of Us

The precision medicine approach considers an individual’s biology, lifestyle, and environment to make more individualized preventive and medical care decisions. The collection of environmental data is critical for researchers using the All of Us resource to make discoveries that advance our understanding of how the environment influences health. The All of Us Research Program plans to use data linkages to pair participant data with data from existing national datasets that collect environmental information. In addition, All of Us is well positioned to collect environmental data from its planned cohort of at least one million diverse participants through surveys, wearable devices, and future geospatial linkages.

Currently Available Data

When responding to this Request for Information, please review and consider the data that we currently have available on our data platform, the All of Us Researcher Workbench. Data are available to researchers in several access tiers. You can refer to our data dictionary for details and use the All of Us Data Browser to explore our publicly available, aggregate data and view outcomes of interest. Within the secured, cloud-based Researcher Workbench, researchers are able to make associations through the integrated dataset by cross-referencing data from these different data types.

  • Participant Surveys. Our survey modules can be viewed here. We currently have survey data from 329,000+ participants.
  • Genomic Data. We currently have whole genome sequencing data available for over 98,000 participants and genotyping arrays for over 165,000.
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) Data. We currently have EHR data from over 214,000 participants, including a wide range of visit types, disease conditions, drug exposures, procedures, labs, and measurements. Data are automatically transferred from participants’ health care provider organizations when they consent to share EHR. EHR data are standardized using the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) Common Data Model.
  • Physical Measurements. We currently have physical measurement data for 267,000+ participants including height, weight, mean waist circumference, mean hip circumference, mean heart rate, mean blood pressure, wheelchair use, and pregnancy.
  • Wearables. We have Fitbit data for 11,600+ participants including heart rate and physical activity.
  • Geocoding of Participant Residential Addresses and Acquisition of Occupational History.(Tentatively planned for 2023).

Information Requested

We are seeking information about innovative ways to collect environmental data from the All of Us cohort. Respondents may address one or more of the following topics of interest:

  1. “Environmental exposure” can mean many things to different people. For your own research interests, please use the following broad categories of environmental exposure to describe the most important categories of data for All of Us to collect as part of its core data collection protocol (Section 7). (Describe only those that apply to your research.)
  • Lifestyle(including diet, substance use, etc.)
  • Occupational exposures
  • Criteria air pollutants (PM2.5, NO2, etc.), short-term
  • Criteria air pollutants (PM2.5, NO2, etc.), annual-average
  • Hazardous air pollutants (Benzene, PAHs, etc.), short-term
  • Hazardous air pollutants (Benzene, PAHs, etc.), annual-average
  • Personal care and other personal use product chemicals
  • Endocrine disrupting or mimicking compounds
  • Pesticides
  • Longitudinal measures of neighborhood socioeconomics and structure
  • Enhanced particulate matter and aerosol metrices (e.g. components, origin, dry/wet/gaseous phase, and deposition and sedimentation characteristics)
  • High-resolution land-use and land-cover change measures (e.g. urban density, forest loss)
  • Point source proximity metrics including distance to animal feeding operations, superfund, landfill and hazardous waste sites
  • Weather and atmospheric conditions
  • Natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, severe weather events)
  • Indicators of climate and climate change including temperature extremes and seasonal variability
  • Others
  1. For your own research, what are one or two environmental measures that would be most important for All of Us to collect?

We encourage respondents to provide information about potential environmental research that leverages the unique structure, diversity, and disease-agnostic nature of the All of Us cohort.

Please note that you can select from the list above or add your own category. If you respond with more than one measure, please list them in priority order (most important first).

For each measure, please describe the following:

    1. Why should this measure be a priority?
    2. What research will it enable you to answer, and what impact could this research have on human health?

Please also consider describing the following for suggested measures:

    1. What method/tools/sensors should be used?
    2. How often should these data be collected?
    3. What is the estimated cost of the collection at scale (500,000–1,000,000 people)?
    4. What would be the participant burden of collecting this measure?
    5. Are there any relevant ethical, legal, or social considerations for this measure?
    6. What evidence is there for the validity and reliability of the measure or method in population-based research settings?
    7. Are the measures, tools, or sensors validated and widely available and used by the research community?
    8. Is this measure available as an extant data source that can be linked into the All of Us Research Program database? If so, specify the source of the data.

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through May 31st, 2022. All comments must be submitted electronically on the Web Portal at: https://rfi.grants.nih.gov/?s=625848a8fa2300004a006f22

Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response.

Responders are free to address any or all the questions listed above. All submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff and contractor support personnel. Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. You may voluntarily include your name and contact information with your response. If you choose to provide NIH with this information, NIH will not share your name and contact information outside of NIH unless required by law.

The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to: