The word is spreading.
More folks are learning about the All of Us Research Program and the potential benefits of the campaign.
Pastor Robert Maxie of Liberty Church of Baton Rouge hosted Dr. Deirdre Barfield, senior medical director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana for an in depth talk about the All of Us Research Program on the Liberty BR Podcast. The pair discuss how the All of Us Research Program is part of a new era in which researchers, health care providers, technology experts, community partners, and the public work together to develop individualized health care.
Pastor Maxie was candid. “I was always scared of big brother getting all of my information,” he shared. “I want to talk about that, and why people should be part of the program.” Maxie goes on to state what many feel anxiety about giving an entity access to personal data, medical or otherwise but there’s a reason to push.
“All of us have had that fear,” countered Dr. Barfield. “We want to keep our information close, but this information is used to better our lives. It’s to be used to take better care of us.” The doctor goes on to explain that the campaign’s goal is to help the medical field “make better, informed, and more precise decisions”. According to Dr. Barfield, multiple factors, ranging from where you reside to what you eat to your job, may impact health outcomes and the program’s goal is to use data to shape medical interventions, specifically preventive services. This can have overwhelmingly helpful outcomes for populations historically underserved by interventions created from traditional, white-male centric research initiatives.
“We want to keep our information close, but this information is used to better our lives. It’s to be used to take better care of us,” —Dr. Deirdre Barfield
Dr. Barfield goes on to share examples of how identities, such as gender, have a huge impact on health outcomes when demographics aren’t represented in trials and it limits the ability to learn more about how to make the most effective interventions. According to the doctor, All of Us Research Program creates a great opportunity to change that, helping generations to come and, possibly, make changes in the quality of life for people in the near future.
“This is the first time there’s been an all out push, we’re not settling for status quo. We need everybody to be represented. With knowledge is power,” says Dr. Barfield. “If we know exactly what the problems are then we can formulate solutions.”
Listen to the entire Liberty BR podcast here.