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).
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: