Scientists Building Largest Database of Patient Data in American History

Federally funded scientists are collecting data from between 26 million and 30 million American patients, creating the largest repository of medical information in the country’s history, The Washington Post reports.

The Washington, D.C.-based Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute has enlisted researchers at 11 locations throughout the country to collect vital signs, blood tests, X-rays, MRI scans, surgeries, insurance claims, and links to genetic samples.

The project was funded in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which created a nonprofit to “help patients and their doctors make better-informed decisions about care.” The idea, The Post says, is to be able to compare what drugs, devices, and treatment options work the best for the most people.

The $100 million project will also help companies identify candidates for clinical trials, a typically arduous and expensive process that often weeds out more participants than it includes.

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