Artificial Intelligence

Americans uneasy with clinical use of artificial intelligence –

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools have shown great clinical promise, from helping to predict health trajectories such as the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to monitoring vital signs. But the majority of Americans say they are not yet comfortable with the idea of AI being used in healthcare, according to findings from a new Pew Research poll published Feb. 22.

Fully 60% of the poll respondents said that they would feel uncomfortable if their own healthcare provider used AI to aid in tasks such as diagnosing disease and recommending treatments. 

Skeptical about outcomes

One reason for this discomfort may be that many remain unconvinced that using AI in health and medicine will improve health outcomes, according to an earlier Pew poll conducted in December. Among those respondents, 33% said AI would lead to worse outcomes and 27% said it wouldn’t make much difference, Pew reported. Only 13% say these uses would improve the patient-provider relationship.

However, many Americans (40%) believe that the use of AI in clinical care would reduce the number of mistakes made by healthcare providers, and 51% agreed that AI would help to reduce racial and ethnic biases in patient care if clinicians used it more often for diagnoses and treatment recommendations.

A wide range of AI tools have the potential for use in clinical settings, according to the Government Accountability Office. But the GAO has also identified a number of potential hurdles associated with these tools, chiefly involving the data needed to produce effective results. Developers will need to grapple with how to access the most high-quality data. They and federal regulators must also contend with issues such as biases inherent in some data that may contribute to care disparities, as well as privacy concerns and uncertainties over liability.

Feds plan stricter regulation

Federal authorities in September announced that they will take a tougher look at these clinical support tools after years of limited oversight. The plan is to regulate far more AI software tools as devices, according to the medical news outlet STAT. The health tech industry is pushing back, STAT noted.

Related articles:

Researchers are using AI to predict loneliness in seniors


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.