Doctors are more likely to try a new therapy when they are persuaded to do so by an influential colleague, according to new Northwestern Medicine research published in Physical Review X.

By analyzing physician social networks, the authors examined how doctors are professionally connected and pass information to each other and how that leads to increasing adoption. The authors have used the new finding to simulate a technology intervention that acts like an influential colleague—opinionated but not too bossy—that they plan to design for the real world. The goal is to accelerate physicians’ adoption of new treatments and tests.

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