NIH awards Fairfax company $39M contract
Vibrent Health to develop tech backbone for research program
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Fairfax-based health technology company Vibrent Health $39 million to develop the technology backbone for the NIH’s All of Us research program, which will gather health information of about 1 million Americans to be used for research studies.
Under the contract, Vibrent Health will continue as the Participant Technology Systems Center (PTSC) for the program, using the company’s digital health solutions platform and participant management toolkit. The platform will serve as a portal for participants and support more than 100 program partners.
The All of Us program will seek information from a diverse population (based on age, race and ethnicity, health status, educational attainment, income and digital literacy) regarding health, habits and what it’s like where the participant lives with a goal to allow researchers to learn more about what affects people’s health. Participants answer health surveys, donate DNA samples and share their electronic health records with the NIH for the program.
Founded in 2009, Vibrent Health focuses on digital health research through offering applications for collection, storage, organization, analysis and curation of data from disparate sources.
“U.S. health research has historically lacked diversity among its cohorts,” Vibrent Health Founder and CEO Praduman Jain said in a statement. “After receiving our first award from the NIH in 2016, which allowed us to enhance and extend our digital health solutions platform to power the NIH’s All of Us Research Program, we were able to start meeting these needs. We were honored to be selected as the recipient of that award and felt validated that our vision to reflect the rich diversity of America in health research was one shared by such a prominent institution.”
More than 356,000 All of Us participants have already enrolled on Vibrent Health’s platform, including more than 270,000 core participants who have completed all of the initial steps of the program. Of the participants, 80% come from populations that are historically underrepresented in biomedical research, and 50% are racially and ethnically diverse, according to Vibrent Health.
The company has partnered with Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia, ICF, Eureka, the University of California and HackerOne to contribute machine learning, technology innovation, research expertise and emerging cybersecurity approaches for the project. The $39 million award to Vibrent Health is for the first year of the five-year project. The program, which began national enrollment in 2018, will last at least 10 years.
“Our successes to date, combined with this second award, put us in the position to execute on our vision of a personalized, diverse, inclusive and transformative platform that can help the world rethink the way it approaches health research, and what we can expect from it,” Jain said in a statement. “We are proud to be a part of a catalyst for positive, long-term change in health research.”