Most Americans feel uncomfortable with artificial intelligence in healthcare, poll says

At last month’s annual CES show, cutting-edge consumer technology advancements in patient care (like the integrated AI mental health device iMediSync, introduced this year) were popular highlights. But a new poll shows that when it comes to healthcare, 60% of Americans dislike the increasing role high-tech AI is playing in medical care. File photo by James Atoa/UPI

Feb. 22 (UPI) — As artificial intelligence spreads in health and medicine, 60% of Americans say they are “uncomfortable” with AI being used for their own healthcare, according to a new poll.

The Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday found that “six in 10 US adults say they would feel ‘uncomfortable’ if their own healthcare provider relied on artificial intelligence to diagnose things like diseases and treatments to recommend.”


Most respondents, 57%, were concerned about losing the personal connection between a patient and a healthcare provider. Another 37% of Americans were concerned that the use of AI would compromise the security of medical records, compared to 22% who thought it would improve security.

“Our new poll examines public opinion about AI in health and medicine — an area where Americans may increasingly encounter technologies that do things like skin cancer screening and even monitor a patient’s vital signs,” the Pew Research Center tweeted Wednesday.

Artificial intelligence, which is the development of computer programs to solve problems, has been used in a number of medical studies, including one last year that found AI could diagnose dementia just as accurately as clinicians.

Further research over the past year found that AI can accurately predict the risk of death from cardiac arrest by training the algorithm to recognize patterns between scarring and heart health that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

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There are also mental health AI devices that can recognize and offer therapeutics.

The Pew Research Center poll conducted on Wednesday found that more Americans, 40%, believed that the use of AI in health and medicine would reduce the number of mistakes made by providers. This compares to 27% who thought AI would increase the number of errors.

And most Americans, 51%, believed that the use of AI in healthcare would eliminate all issues of bias and unfair treatment, while 15% believed bias would get worse.

When it comes to AI-controlled robots performing surgeries, 59% of Americans said they would definitely prefer human surgeons to operate on them.

Because results varied throughout the survey, three-fourths of Americans said their biggest concern about the use of AI in health and medicine is that providers are too quick to implement it before they understand the risk to patients. A quarter of Americans said they were more concerned about missed AI opportunities to improve patient health.

The numbers changed in each category when respondents’ age, gender and education were factored in, according to the survey, which found that younger adults, males and those with higher education levels are more open to the idea of ​​using AI for their own health care than could be others.