Grant Supports Speedy Sorting of Health Records by Phenotype

Wei-Qi Wei , MD, PhD, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics and scientific director of the Precision Phenotyping Core at the Center for Precision Medicine, has been awarded a four-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (grant GM139891) to continue development of high-throughput software for quickly identifying traits of interest, or phenotypes, in electronic health records (EHRs). wei-qi

EHRs, in the aggregate, are increasingly a resource for biomedical discovery. As a common starting point of observational studies, researchers search for records that reflect a phenotype of interest, typically a disease. Unfortunately, these searches aren’t straightforward in the least. For a given disease of interest, it takes time and effort for experts to devise, test and refine electronic selection algorithms. These elaborate preliminaries are seen as slowing discovery. 

To dramatically pick up the pace, in May 2020 Vanderbilt University Medical Center began offering researchers everywhere, as a free download, the prototype of a tool devised by Wei and colleagues, called PheMAP, or Phenotyping by Measured, Automated Profile.

Read more in the VUMC Reporter here.