What You Should Know:
- More than half (51%) of U.S. adults are optimistic new applications of artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to major advancements and breakthroughs in healthcare in the year ahead, according to a new survey from Medtronic, a global healthcare technology leader, and Morning Consult.
- Some of the highest levels of optimism for AI in healthcare are around diagnoses and improving healthcare access. 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. 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.
Welcome Insights Regarding the Use of AI in Medical Breakthroughs
Addressing perceived obstacles to the adoption of AI is crucial for building consumer confidence. While a majority of Americans express optimism about AI, there are still challenges to overcome. Individuals skeptical of the technology believe that providing more evidence of AI’s potential could enhance their confidence in its capabilities.
Among the barriers identified, 83% of consumers consider the potential for AI to make mistakes as a significant concern. Additionally, 80% cite a lack of basic understanding and evidence of AI’s positive impact on health outcomes as risks associated with using AI. However, almost half (47%) indicate that they would feel more assured if these obstacles were effectively addressed.
Although consumers generally have a positive view of using AI to manage their health, there is hesitancy when it comes to extensive use by physicians. The survey reveals that 62% of adults have a favorable opinion of symptom trackers and health-related apps utilizing AI. Nevertheless, only 36% express a preference for working with a physician who incorporates AI, and merely 20% are comfortable with the idea of their doctor extensively relying on AI.
Interestingly, when presented with specific scenarios of AI usage by physicians, Americans show greater openness. Two-thirds (67%) are willing to work with a physician who uses AI to analyze tests, x-rays, and CT scans, and more than half express a similar sentiment regarding AI’s role in detecting cancer (62%).
Furthermore, individuals’ health status appears to influence their receptiveness to AI. Over half (53%) of adults who rate themselves as being in excellent health prefer working with a doctor utilizing AI, compared to only 29% among those who rate their health as fair.
“Disruptive technologies like AI alter the trajectories of our daily lives, changing how we shop, how we communicate, and how we receive healthcare,” shares Ken Washington, chief technology and innovation officer at Medtronic. “While skepticism 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. 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.”