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Audrey Epstein Reny, Bharti Khurana, Ali Salim

2019 Winner: Bharti Khurana, MD

Director, Emergency Musculoskeletal Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School


Making the Invisible Visible: Bringing Intimate Partner Violence into Focus

Intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as physical, sexual or emotional violence between partners or former partners, is a widely prevalent critical public health issue.  In the U.S., one in four women and one in seven men have reported experiencing severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, and half of female homicides between 2003 and 2014 have been linked to IPV. Despite these devastating statistics and the urgency of this problem, IPV continues to be profoundly underdiagnosed and under-reported.

Radiologists like Khurana are in a unique position to provide an objective opinion in an unbiased manner based on the specific radiological findings and patterns. With funding from the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, Khurana will use machine learning to develop a multi-dimensional alert system that harnesses a patient’s signs, symptoms, imaging findings, and history; classifies injuries for their likelihood of being a result of IPV; and automatically alerts clinicians. In addition, Khurana’s multidisciplinary team will generate conversational guides for social workers and clinicians with a goal of enhancing communication amongst caregivers and potential IPV victims.


Bharti Khurana, MD, is the director of Emergency Musculoskeletal Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and associate professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. A passionate advocate for developing machine learning algorithms for injury detection, her clinical and research efforts involve imaging and interpretation of trauma, orthopaedic and spine trauma, intimate partner violence, whole body CT for trauma, MRI optimization in ED, and education and career building in the field of emergency radiology. She is also the course director for Emergency Radiology Harvard Medical School Continuing Medical Education program.

An Interview with Stepping Strong Innovator Award Recipient Bharti Khurana
Intimate partner violence crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic: how can radiologists make a difference?

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