AI in Healthcare
By Max Forestier

In December of 2023, InCrowd surveyed 105 US attending Physicians and Residents to explore the possibility of implementing AI into Healthcare settings.

As technological advancements continue to advance, we are noticing an increase in the conversation surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare settings. But how do HCPs feel about AI integration? InCrowd surveyed US attending Physicians and Residents to gauge their attitude regarding the emerging trend of AI being implemented into their practice. 

When asked about familiarity with AI functionality, 100% of the respondents said they’re familiar with Artificial Intelligence. AI has been a hot topic in today’s society; something that is evolving every day in hopes of making jobs more trouble-free. 

We provided a series of three statements to be evaluated, using a scale from 1 to 7, with 1 being totally disagree to 7 being totally agree, to better grasp HCPs sentiments on the application of AI. The first statement to be evaluated was, “I would employ AI in the treatment of my own patients.” 80% of respondents agreed with this statement. The average response was 4.84 out of 7, which indicated that respondents overall were neutral to slightly positive in their perception. 

Next, we wanted to evaluate if HCPs believe AI can be beneficial to patient care. 

Our statement AI could improve patient care” gave us more insight by presuming that the majority of HCPs agree. Only 6% of HCPs completely disagreed. The average was 5.38 out of 7, and additionally 20% of respondents ranked this statement 7 out of 7, indicating that they understand the benefits of AI in healthcare settings. 

Our final statement was I am comfortable with AI being utilized in some capacity related to patient care”. 82% of the respondents agreed with this statement, except 1 respondent who completely disagreed with the statement. 

Overall, when comparing medical residents’ responses to the attending Physicians’ responses, we see a trend that Residents are more comfortable with AI. 26% of Residents said they completely agree that AI can improve healthcare, compared to attending Physicians, who only 14% completely agreed. Considering the willingness to implement AI into their practice, we can infer that those still in training have a more favorable view of AI and perhaps will become more ready adopters post-residency.  

We wanted to gather more qualitative data so we asked two open-ended questions. The first question is, If AI usage becomes more common in the healthcare setting, what tasks would you feel comfortable with AI involvement or assistance?”. Based on our data, we found that 25% of respondents are comfortable using AI to assist with notes/charting. 

One HCP stated, “It is very useful for generating chart notes, and allowing a doctor to work more effectively.” 

Notes and charting take up valuable time that can be directed to completing other patient care tasks. Another common response was to help with diagnosing and medication recommendations.

Next, we wanted to learn what concerns HCPs had with AI. As compared to the previous question, the responses were more in line, with 41% of respondents mentioning inaccurate/incorrect data- the largest concern based on responses “… afraid AI would try to narrow down too quickly and not integrate outlying data points” a pediatrician from Ohio stated. 

As AI is still new and evolving it doesn’t come as a surprise that some are questioning the reliability of the program to make such important decisions. 16% of respondents also mentioned privacy as a concern with AI. Some HCPs also fear that the basis of healthcare will shift to a more artificial approach as opposed to human interaction-based care for a patient. One of our respondents added,“​​Non-human thinking, patient care is an art that humans are taught, [and] sometimes needs to be an emotional decision, all or nothing answers-humans can’t be placed into an all or nothing category.” Healthcare is a field that requires an emotional attachment and HCPs don’t want that to be minimized due to AI. 

Overall, AI is continuing to be implemented in a variety of industries and is something that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. AI has the potential to bring widespread benefits to healthcare, with the possibility of reshaping certain aspects of the processes. The insights revealed from this research take a peek into HCP’s perception of AI. There’s a lot more to investigate when it comes to the benefits and possible negative outcomes when discussing the implementation of AI in patient care.

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Learn more about AI and its benefits in healthcare: 

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