Dublin: More than half (51%) of U.S. adults are hopeful Artificial Intelligence (AI) based applications will lead to major advancements and breakthroughs in healthcare in the year ahead but can't replace physicians, a survey shows.
Some of the highest levels of optimism for AI in healthcare are around diagnoses and improving healthcare access, according to the survey conducted by Medtronic, a global healthcare technology leader, and Morning Consult.
“In fact, roughly six in ten adults (61%) agree one of the main benefits of using AI in healthcare is to diagnose and detect health conditions”, Medtronic said.
“Further, approximately two-thirds (65%) of adults agree technology can help break down barriers to healthcare with more than half (56%) saying AI (specifically) can be beneficial in improving healthcare access”, the survey showed.
"Disruptive technologies like AI alter the trajectories of our daily lives, changing how we shop, how we communicate, and how we receive healthcare," Ken Washington, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Medtronic said.
"While scepticism is natural, the survey found strong optimism around the potential of AI in healthcare. And the reality is, the way we engage with AI will likely look radically different five to 10 years from now”, he added.
“That said, there is one thing I'm certain of — the responsible, ethical use of AI has the power to radically improve healthcare for both patients and doctors”, he said.
While more than half of Americans are optimistic about AI, there are still barriers to overcome.
Among the survey respondents who are sceptical about the technology, they report having more proof around AI's potential could help them be more confident in the technology.
“83% of consumers view the potential for AI to make mistakes as one of the largest barriers, whereas 80% say lack of basic understanding and evidence that AI improves health outcomes are risks to using AI.
“However, nearly half (47%) say they would feel more confident if these barriers were addressed”, the survey result showed.
Though consumers have a favorable opinion of using AI to manage their health but say they aren't ready for their physician to use it extensively, and only roughly one-third (36%) say they would prefer to work with a physician who uses AI, and only one-in-five (20%) would want their doctor to use AI extensively.
The survey also shows that 62% of adults have a favorable opinion of symptom trackers and health related apps that depend on AI technology.
However, when presented with specific ways a physician might use AI, Americans are more open. Two-thirds (67%) say they'd be likely to work with a physician who uses AI to analyze tests, x-rays and CT scans. More than half say the same for detecting cancer (62%).
Based on the survey results, Ken Washington opined that AI can't be a substitute for human judgement and experience.
“To this end, I cannot imagine a future where AI will replace doctors. But I can envision a future where AI is ubiquitous in healthcare, creating better experiences and outcomes that patients will prefer," he said.
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