Exploring perceptions of healthcare technologies enabled by artificial intelligence: an online, scenario-based survey

Alison L. Antes, Sara Burrous, Bryan A. Sisk, Matthew J. Schuelke, Jason D. Keune, James M. DuBois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Healthcare is expected to increasingly integrate technologies enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) into patient care. Understanding perceptions of these tools is essential to successful development and adoption. This exploratory study gauged participants’ level of openness, concern, and perceived benefit associated with AI-driven healthcare technologies. We also explored socio-demographic, health-related, and psychosocial correlates of these perceptions. Methods: We developed a measure depicting six AI-driven technologies that either diagnose, predict, or suggest treatment. We administered the measure via an online survey to adults (N = 936) in the United States using MTurk, a crowdsourcing platform. Participants indicated their level of openness to using the AI technology in the healthcare scenario. Items reflecting potential concerns and benefits associated with each technology accompanied the scenarios. Participants rated the extent that the statements of concerns and benefits influenced their perception of favorability toward the technology. Participants completed measures of socio-demographics, health variables, and psychosocial variables such as trust in the healthcare system and trust in technology. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the concern and benefit items identified two factors representing overall level of concern and perceived benefit. Descriptive analyses examined levels of openness, concern, and perceived benefit. Correlational analyses explored associations of socio-demographic, health, and psychosocial variables with openness, concern, and benefit scores while multivariable regression models examined these relationships concurrently. Results: Participants were moderately open to AI-driven healthcare technologies (M = 3.1/5.0 ± 0.9), but there was variation depending on the type of application, and the statements of concerns and benefits swayed views. Trust in the healthcare system and trust in technology were the strongest, most consistent correlates of openness, concern, and perceived benefit. Most other socio-demographic, health-related, and psychosocial variables were less strongly, or not, associated, but multivariable models indicated some personality characteristics (e.g., conscientiousness and agreeableness) and socio-demographics (e.g., full-time employment, age, sex, and race) were modestly related to perceptions. Conclusions: Participants’ openness appears tenuous, suggesting early promotion strategies and experiences with novel AI technologies may strongly influence views, especially if implementation of AI technologies increases or undermines trust. The exploratory nature of these findings warrants additional research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Acceptance of healthcare
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Benefits
  • Bioethics
  • Concerns
  • Machine learning
  • Openness
  • Perceptions

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