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Outbreaks Near Me|SurveyMonkey poll: AI isn’t disrupting healthcare – yet

Outbreaks Near Me|SurveyMonkey poll: AI isn’t disrupting healthcare – yet

While some people are ready for AI-led primary care and therapy appointments, most still prefer medical professionals

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we work, learn, and deal with customer service–and may soon affect our healthcare, too. According to a new poll conducted by Outbreaks Near Me and SurveyMonkey, nearly a third (32%) of people already say they would be comfortable with AI leading a primary care appointment, though fewer (25%) would be comfortable with AI-led therapy. 


Younger adults express more comfort with AI-led healthcare, with 40% of those 18-34 saying they would be comfortable with a primary care appointment led by AI, vs. just 24% among those 65 and older.

Outbreaks Near Me is a joint team of epidemiologists from Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School that uses crowdsourced data to help citizens and public health agencies identify current and potential hotspots for COVID-19. This new poll was fielded among 3,317 adults age 18 and over in the U.S. from May 23-26, 2023, and includes a sample of 357 healthcare workers who were asked about how AI is already affecting their jobs, and how it might continue to do so in the future. 


Just 12% of adults in the U.S. say their healthcare providers currently use AI to help diagnose, treat or communicate with patients, but 66% expect AI to play a bigger role in healthcare in five years. 


Similarly, only 14% of healthcare professionals say they are currently using AI to help diagnose, treat, or communicate with patients; the vast majority (83%) are not using AI for any of these tasks. Healthcare professionals are somewhat divided in their opinions of AI: 23% think the use of AI in healthcare will help more than it hurts, 33% think it will hurt more than it helps, and 42% think it will equally help and hurt. 


While AI is getting a lot of hype, most people in the general population say they still prefer important healthcare-related tasks to be done by medical professionals rather than by AI, including prescribing pain medication (84% prefer medical professional), diagnosing a rash on your arm (80% prefer medical professional), reading a scan (71% prefer medical professional), and managing your diet (69% prefer medical professional).

Read more about our polling methodology here

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: