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Amar Dhand, MD, D.Phil.
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Neurology
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Research Email: adhand@bwh.harvard.edu

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Research Narrative:

My research program examines the influence of social networks on patient-reported outcomes. Supported by the NIH, we have created a method, called the social connectome (1), to map and longitudinally follow the personal networks of neurology patients. The approach reveals influential people, their habits, and linkage patterns that could facilitate or limit health behaviors (2). Early results show that social networks influence early arrival to the hospital after stroke, an outcome critical for stroke care and recovery trajectories (3). Social networks are a modifiable risk factor important for managing health habits, medication adherence, and functional recovery for patients. Our current aim is to translate these research findings into practice by building tools for health care teams to easily map and visualize the patient’s network. We would like to test these tools in the hospital with goals of identifying at-risk patients, leveraging social network resources to enhance transitions of care, and shortening hospital length of stay.