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65% of Physicians Aware of Clinical AI

Written by
Daniel Caron
Published on

Sixty studies were included in a systematic review, published August 31st 2022 in Frontiers, titled, "Acceptance of clinical artificial intelligence among physicians and medical students: A systematic review with cross-sectional survey"

To quote from the survey:

"758 respondents from 39 countries completed the online questionnaire. Five (62.50%) of eight studies reported 65% or higher awareness regarding the application of clinical AI. Although, only 10–30% had actually used AI and 26 (74.28%) of 35 studies suggested there was a lack of AI knowledge. Our questionnaire uncovered 38% awareness rate and 20% utility rate of clinical AI, although 53% lacked basic knowledge of clinical AI. Forty-five studies mentioned attitudes toward clinical AI, and over 60% from 38 (84.44%) studies were positive about AI, although they were also concerned about the potential for unpredictable, incorrect results. Seventy-seven percent were optimistic about the prospect of clinical AI. The support rate for the statement that AI could replace physicians ranged from 6 to 78% across 40 studies which mentioned this topic. Five studies recommended that efforts should be made to increase collaboration. Our questionnaire showed 68% disagreed that AI would become a surrogate physician, but believed it should assist in clinical decision-making. Participants with different identities, experience and from different countries hold similar but subtly different attitudes."

One area where AI has shown particular promise is in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. For example, machine learning algorithms have been trained to detect breast cancer with a high degree of accuracy, surpassing that of human radiologists in some cases. AI is also being used to analyze electronic medical records and identify patterns that may indicate a patient is at risk for a particular condition, allowing physicians to intervene earlier and potentially prevent the onset of the disease.

Another area where AI is being utilized is in the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Smartphone apps and wearable devices that incorporate AI can track a patient's vitals and provide real-time feedback to both the patient and their physician, enabling more effective management of these conditions.

AI is also being used to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system as a whole. For example, natural language processing algorithms can analyze patient notes and extract relevant information, reducing the time physicians spend on documentation and allowing them to focus more on patient care.

Despite the potential benefits of AI in healthcare, there are also concerns about the potential for it to exacerbate existing inequalities. It is important that AI is developed and implemented in a way that is fair and transparent, taking into account the needs and concerns of all stakeholders.

Conclusion: "Most physicians and medical students appear aware of the increasing application of clinical AI, but lack practical experience and related knowledge. Overall, participants have positive but reserved attitudes about AI. In spite of the mixed opinions around clinical AI becoming a surrogate physician, there was a consensus that collaborations between the two should be strengthened. Further education should be conducted to alleviate anxieties associated with change and adopting new technologies."


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