BALTIMORE, Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- University of Maryland Medicine announced a new partnership today with Vibrent Health, a health technology company based in Fairfax, Virginia, to create the All of Maryland Precision Health Initiative, a statewide digital platform for studies examining how genes and other factors affect health. The mission of All of Maryland -- a study that will be led by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers -- is to discover better ways to individualize healthcare. The goal is to enable individuals to benefit from treatments tailored to their own health profiles.
This data-driven study aims to enroll up to 250,000 volunteers across Maryland in order to identify and better understand the health needs of Marylanders by region and community. A particular focus will be on underserved populations who experience significant health disparities, causing more illness and shorter lifespans. The large-scale effort to collect broad sources of health data, including genetic information, will aid researchers in better understanding human genomic variation and its relationship to disease and treatment.
The study will be built on Vibrent Health's Digital Health Solutions Platform, which includes an online portal and mobile applications for participants and a suite of software tools and services to support study partners and researchers. The study protocol will leverage Vibrent Health's experience in creating digital health platforms for the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program and other precision medicine initiatives. The digital platform enables data collection from e-consent, surveys, electronic health records, genomics, wearables, and other sources and provides return of value to participants based on collected data.
"All of Maryland is a landmark health research initiative that has the potential to unlock medical mysteries, generate knowledge, and accelerate discoveries that can improve the health of Marylanders for generations to come," said study principal investigator Stephen Davis, MBBS, FRCP, FACE, MACP, Theodore E. Woodward Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UMSOM, and Director, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and Vice President of Clinical Translational Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Alan Shuldiner, MD, John L. Whitehurst Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Personalized & Genomic Medicine at UMSOM, added: "This program will allow us to engage as partners with research participants who represent the rich diversity of our State. We will integrate clinical informatics and mobile technologies with big data analytics to create a dynamic resource for research and learning healthcare environment delivery."
The All of Maryland study will strengthen the state's position as a national leader in precision health research and will help make University of Maryland Medicine, which includes UMSOM and University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and its affiliated institutions, including the University of Maryland, Baltimore, a magnet for research funding. It will also help the university attract top students interested in careers in precision medicine and enhance the university's reputation as a leader in cutting-edge health research.
"A major part of the School of Medicine's mission involves addressing the unique health needs of the local Maryland community. Our state has a vibrant and genetically diverse population, and we must work to fully understand how genes interact with our environment, especially for those living in economically disadvantaged communities," said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. "This study can provide some important answers to these questions and lead to more individualized and effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat health conditions in Maryland and beyond."
All of Maryland will be one of the first statewide uses of a digital platform for precision health research, and it can serve as a template for other state-level health organizations that aspire to create similar precision medicine programs across the country. The study was developed in collaboration with community members and provides an opportunity for communities to engage in research that impacts health and public health policy.
"We are honored to partner with University of Maryland Medicine to bring the best of data-driven digital health research technology to All of Maryland. Together we will enable Maryland's academic researchers to recruit and engage with diverse populations, from communities across the state, to advance personalized medicine for all people," said Praduman "PJ" Jain, CEO and founder of Vibrent Health. "Precision medicine provides the potential to fundamentally change the delivery of healthcare, and research institutions like UMSOM are at the forefront of building the digital infrastructure needed to turn health data into meaningful outcomes."
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 student trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System ("University of Maryland Medicine") has an annual budget of over $6 billion and an economic impact of nearly $20 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2021, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #9 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 15 percent (#27) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu
About the University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospital campuses in Baltimore: the 800-bed flagship institution of the 13-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) -- and the 200-bed UMMC Midtown Campus, both academic medical centers training physicians and health professionals and pursuing research and innovation to improve health. UMMC's downtown campus is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurosciences, advanced cardiovascular care, women's and children's health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the downtown campus are clinical faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The UMMC Midtown Campus medical staff is predominately faculty physicians specializing in diabetes, chronic diseases, behavioral health, long term acute care and an array of outpatient primary care and specialty services. UMMC Midtown has been a teaching hospital for 140 years and is located one mile away from the downtown campus. For more information, visit www.umm.edu.
About Vibrent Health
Vibrent Health develops digital health technology and research tools for health organizations, researchers and research participants. Powering the next generation of precision medicine, Vibrent's scalable technology platform for individual and population health provides actionable insights to help accelerate medical discoveries. Vibrent Health is proud to serve, since 2016, as the Participant Technology Systems Center for the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program, which aims to collect health data from one million or more people to support a wide variety of research studies. This work is supported under NIH funding award U24OD02316. To learn more, visit vibrenthealth.com.
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SOURCE University of Maryland School of Medicine