June 1, 2021

What is the "All of Us" research program and how has it joined the fight against COVID-19?

The All of Us Research Program, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is seeking one million or more people from across the U.S. to drive discoveries that improve the health of generations to come.

People who join All of Us are sharing information about their health, habits, and what it’s like where they live. By looking for patterns in this information, researchers will learn more about what affects people’s health to better understand why people get sick or stay healthy. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of many places across the nation helping people enroll in the program.

Since 2017, many community organizations have partnered with All of Us at the UW. UW Health is an important partner helping the All of Us Wisconsin program at UW to provide information to patients in Madison and Dane County and also offering clinic space for All of Us project staff to meet with and enroll participants.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, All of Us coordinators and engagement specialists were on the ground in Madison and Dane County to inform the public and assist with enrollment in the program. To date, more than 388,000 people nationwide have signed up, including more than 284,000 who have already completed all of the initial steps of the program. Those initial steps are completing the initial surveys, agreeing to share electronic health records and providing samples for analysis. More than 80% of these participants come from populations that are historically underrepresented in research. In Wisconsin, over 14,000 have fully enrolled.

All of Us is designed to support research on a wide range of health topics, such as Alzheimer’s, Cancer or heart disease. Recently, the program was leveraged to support COVID-19 research in three ways:

Antibody testing

All of Us tested blood samples from more than 24,000 participants. The tests are to see the level of COVID-19 exposure across regions and communities. Evidence was found that suggested the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 was present in the U.S. as far back as December 2019.

COVID-19 Participant Experience (COPE) Survey

All of Us deployed an online survey to better understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on participants’ physical and mental health. The survey was designed for those who have been ill with COVID-19 and those who have not. Questions focus on COVID-19 symptoms, stress, social distancing and economic impacts.

Electronic health records

To date, more than 245,000 people have shared their electronic health records (EHRs) with the program. Sharing EHRs allows researchers to better understand treatments and conditions you have been treated for, as well as how different medicines and treatments work.

For more information about the All of Us program or to enroll, please visit

Questions? Contact the All of Us team at UW-Madison through email at allofus@hslc.wisc.edu or phone at (888) 294-2661.