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Physicians Enthusiastic but Cautious About Healthcare AI

By MedTech Intelligence Staff
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A recent survey by the AMA showed that practicing physicians are equally excited and concerned about the increased use of AI in health care, with enthusiasm for technologies that reduce administrative burden and enhance diagnostic ability and concern for patient privacy, liability and erosion of the patient-physician relationship.

According to a recent physician survey conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA), physicians are enthusiastic about augmented intelligence (AI)—aka artificial intelligence—and its assistive role in health care. However, the survey findings show an equal number of physicians excited and concerned about the potential for AI.
“Physicians are optimistic about the advantages that properly designed AI-enabled tools can have for patient care, and nearly two-thirds of physicians see an advantage to AI if key requirements are met,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “The AMA survey illustrates that physicians’ greatest hope for AI rests in reducing the crushing administrative burdens that plague modern medicine, which drain healthcare resources and pull physicians away from patient care.”
The AMA’s Augmented Intelligence Research surveyed 1,081 physicians in August 2023 to investigate the sentiment of practicing physicians regarding the increased usage of AI in health care.
Among the key findings, the physician survey showed:

  • The potential for healthcare AI has 41% of physicians equally excited and concerned.
  • Enthusiasm was highest for AI tools that help reduce administrative burdens, including documentation (54%) and prior authorization (48%).
  • AI tools were most helpful for enhancing diagnostic ability (72%), workflow efficiency (69%) and clinical outcomes (61%).
  • Concern was highest for AI tools that impact the patient-physician relationship (39%) and patient privacy (41%).
  • The top attributes required to advance physician adoption of AI tools were data privacy assurances (87%) and not being held liable for AI model errors (87%).
  • AI tools were in use by 38% of physicians with the most common uses including: creation of discharge instructions, care plans or progress notes (14%), documentation of billing codes, medical charts or visit notes (13%), translation services (11%) and assistive diagnosis (11%).
  • Transparency is key for AI tools with about 80% of physicians indicated they want clear information about key characteristics and features regarding the design, development and deployment of AI tools.

The AMA notes that it continues to support the development of high-quality, clinically validated AI that is deployed in a responsible, ethical and transparent manner with patient safety being the first and foremost concern. In November, the organization issued a new set of AI principles to guide the responsible development, deployment and use of AI, to ensure that these technologies contribute positively to the future of health care.


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