Dr. Brandon Welch, PhD
My background and experience make me uniquely qualified to push forward the frontiers of science and technology through simple, easy-to-use technology, creating new possibilities that will improve the quality of human life. First, in 2007, I served as a Fellow in the Personalized Health Care Initiative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service where I participated in efforts to promote the standardized collection and use of family health history (FHx) information in health IT systems, and clinical decision support (CDS) for personalized health care. While completing a master’s degree in Human Genetics at Tulane University, I first developed the idea for a simple, web-based pedigree-drawing tool to help patients record their FHx. After successfully raising investment funding, I oversaw product design, development, and marketing for the first version of ItRunsInMyFamily.com. This effort led to a formal partnership and becoming Vice President for Innovation at InformedDNA, a nationwide genetic counseling service provider. I helped modernize the company’s health IT capabilities, including integrating informatics into genetic counseling workflows, led business development efforts, and helped create their genetic test utilization management service for health insurers. I returned to the University of Utah to complete a PhD in Biomedical Informatics to build up my expertise and training in health IT. My PhD thesis was on CDS for genomics, family history, and personalized health care. I developed a scalable service-oriented CDS architecture that provides genome-guided CDS within the electronic health record (EHR). As a predoctoral fellow in the Program on Personalized Health Care, I also contributed to educational efforts and pilot projects on CDS and personalized medicine. Also at Utah, I developed an award-winning telemedicine application called Doxy.me (https://doxy.me). Recognized for its simplicity, Doxy.me is now being used by 25,000 healthcare providers and organizations around the world. I received NIH funding to adapt Doxy.me to support ability of researchers to obtain research consent from participants remotely by video (1R41LM012547-01A1). I was also recently awarded a K award (5K07CA211786-02) to evaluate if ItRunsInMyFamily, which uses social networking and artificial intelligence, is an easier and more effective way to collect FHx than current proband-centric tools. This is my passion and primary research focus. Through my K award, I am receiving additional training in human-computer interaction, qualitative research, and health technology assessment. Prior to receiving my K, I was Program Director of the Telehealth Research and Innovation Program for the MUSC Center for Telehealth where I helped organize and facilitate telehealth research for MUSC. Currently, I am Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Informatics Center (BMIC) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where I teach first-year PhD students ‘Introduction to Biomedical Informatics’ course.