New survey finds that most Americans feel significant discomfort when doctors use artificial intelligence to manage their health.
According to a new survey, based on 11,004 U.S. adults, by the Pew Research Centre, 60% of Americans expressed their concerns and discomfort if their health care provider would use artificial intelligence to diagnose and treat their disease. Additionally, 57% of Americans said the use of artificial intelligence could make the doctor-patient relationship worse; 33% felt it would lead to worse health outcomes, whilst 27% felt that it would not make a difference.
In addition to these concerns, participants voiced their apprehension around the security and protection of their health care records. Many Americans rejected the idea of a chatbot treating or advising them on their mental health, and 6 in 10 Americans did not want AI-driven robots to perform parts of their surgery.
Alec Tyson, Pew’s associate said “one dynamic here is, the public isn’t deeply familiar with all of these technologies. And so when you consider their use in a context that’s very personal, something that’s kind of high-stakes as your own health, I think that the notion that folks are still getting to know this technology is certainly one dynamic at play”.
It must be said that patients do not reject AI when it comes to all aspects of health care. They are comfortable with using AI to detect skin cancer; 65% of survey participants felt that it could enhance the accuracy of a diagnosis. Four in 10 Americans believe that it could lessen the number of mistakes providers make, which is a serious problem as medical errors lead to around 100,000 deaths per year in the U.S.
Studies have shown that implicit bias in providers is a concern as it can ultimately affect their decision-making.
In this case, survey participants feel that AI could help to ensure decisions are more data-driven, rather than have their treatment be affected by any bias or assumptions about a person’s health.
However, AI is developed with human influence, therefore this must be said with caution as it is not entirely without bias.
Overall, Tyson summarises, “They echo this sentiment of caution of wanting to move carefully in AI adoption in health care”.
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