The federal government plans to launch a $300 million initiative to build an Alzheimer’s research database in an effort to track the health of Americans for decades and learn more about the devastating disease.
Reuters reported on Monday that the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA), a branch of the National Institutes of Health, will fund the six-year project that aims to build a data platform capable of housing long-term health information on 70 to 90 percent of the country’s population.
NIA officials told Reuters that the new database will draw its data from medical records, insurance claims, pharmacies, mobile devices, sensors and various government agencies.
“Real-world data is what we need to make a lot of decisions about the effectiveness of medications and looking really at a much broader population than most clinical trials can cover,” NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers Program Director Nina Silverberg told the news outlet.
The new database could also help identify healthy Americans who are at risk for Alzheimer’s for future drug trials, including efforts to address the chronic underrepresentation of minorities in such trials, Reuters reported.