At the annual CES trade show this past month, cutting-edge consumer-tech advances in patient care (such as the iMediSync integrated AI mental-health device, demonstrated this year) were popular highlights. But a new poll indicates that, when it comes to healthcare, 60% of Americans are uncomfortable with high-tech AI's increasing role in medical care. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 22 (UPI) -- As artificial intelligence expands in the field of health and medicine, 60% of Americans say they are "uncomfortable" with AI being used for their own healthcare, according to a new survey.
The Pew Research Center survey, released Wednesday, found "six in 10 U.S. adults say they would feel 'uncomfortable' if their own healthcare provider relied on artificial intelligence to do things like diagnose disease and recommend treatments."
Most of those surveyed, 57%, were concerned about losing the personal connection between a patient and a healthcare provider. Another 37% of Americans were concerned that using AI would compromise the security of health records, compared to 22% who thought it would improve security.
"Our new survey explores public views on AI in health and medicine -- an area where Americans may increasingly encounter technologies that do things like screen for skin cancer and even monitor a patient's vital signs," 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 may diagnose dementia as accurately as clinicians.
More research last year found AI can accurately predict the risk of cardiac arrest death by training the algorithm to detect patterns between scarring and heart health, which is not visible to the naked eye.
There also are AI mental-care devices that can detect and offer therapeutics.
Wednesday's Pew Research Center survey did find that more Americans, 40%, believed the use of AI in health and medicine would reduce the number of mistakes made by providers. That compares to 27% who thought AI would increase the number of errors.
And most Americans, 51%, felt that the use for AI in healthcare would eliminate any problems with bias and unfair treatment, while 15% believed bias would get worse.
When it comes to AI-driven robots doing surgery, 59% of Americans said they would definitely prefer human surgeons to operate on them.
As results varied throughout the survey, three-quarters of Americans said their greatest concern about using AI in heath and medicine is that providers will implement it too quickly before understanding its risk to patients. A quarter of Americans said they were more concerned about missing AI opportunities to improve patients' health.
The numbers changed in every category when the respondents' age, gender and education were factored in, according to the survey, which found younger adults, men and those with higher levels of education are more open to the idea of using AI in their own health care than others might be.