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Tracking Fitness, Tracking Genes

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute will soon be handing out fitness trackers as part of a pilot project of the National Institute of Health's All of Us research initiative, FierceHealthcare reports.

The All of Us project — originally launched as the Precision Medicine Initiative's Cohort Program — aims to enroll 1 million people to undergo genomic testing and collection of medical, socioeconomic, and other data to look for ties between those factors and health.

As part of its pilot, Scripps will be giving Fitbit fitness trackers to 10,000 people to collect physical activity, heart rate, and sleep information, FierceHealthcare says. Currently, the project relies on information collected during office visits or based on what participants can remember. Through the pilot study, the researchers want to evaluate whether fitness trackers can provide a better glimpse of lifestyle and other factors.

"As part of the global shift towards precision medicine, wearable data has the potential to inform highly personalized healthcare," says Adam Pellegrini, general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, in a statement.

Earlier this fall, the Associated Press reported that NIH plans to open wider enrollment for the All of Us project in the spring.