While the potential of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) in medicine was first describes in fictional and futuristics stories as early as the 1950, it was not until the 2000s and the advent of deep learning that AI started to become a reality.[1]

Today, with AI systems capable of analyzing complex algorithms and self-learning, we’ve entered in new age in medicine and healthcare where AI can be applied to clinical practice through risk assessment models, improving diagnostic accuracy and workflow efficiency.[1]

As a result, application based on AI have, over the last decade, grown at an unprecedented pace in health care, including disease diagnosis, triage or screening, risk analysis, surgical operations. [2] And despite the potential, clinical implementation of AI applications, while rapidly increasing, are still at an early stage.

With the increasing adoption into healthcare, physicians recognize the true value of its (potential) advantages in clinical practice more prominently after successful implementation and regular usage in their day-to-day work.  this is the conclusion based on outcomes from a survey by data analytics company GlobalData.

The GlobalData survey* for the first time reveals that healthcare professionals (HCPs), who had previous experience with AI were very supportive towards the use of the technology in their clinical practice. [2] However, the report also shows that in contrast, HCPs who had never used AI before were more skeptical about the improvements that AI could bring. Nevertheless, both groups of physicians were overall positive about AI improving their work.

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“AI is becoming embedded in many of the daily activities of clinical practices, which may result in higher levels of confidence among physicians in this technology. The extent to which AI could be perceived as beneficial or as concerning differed greatly according to its specific use, with physicians currently feeling more comfortable with using AI for non-clinical activities,” noted Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData.

“However, experience with technology seems to be a key factor in understanding how AI can improve or enhance daily activities – there were no significant differences when survey data was analyzed by the number of years in practice or specialty,” Jakimaviciute added,

Innovation for future generations
There is an undeniable need to create innovative strategies to address healthcare needs for future generations. The aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic disease, workforce shortages, healthcare underfunding, advances in science, and increasing amount of information make AI stand out as a promising solution to improve the provision of healthcare.

“In the future, AI use in healthcare is only going to increase, and these survey results indicate that as more physicians get accustomed to using AI, their comfort levels with the technology in other healthcare areas is going to increase as well,” Jakimaviciute said.

“Of course, no technology is perfect, and the challenges that come with AI will need to be taken on board while leveraging its benefits. As it stands, the main priorities are addressing ethical, data privacy and confidentiality risks, especially since the speed at which AI is developing is substantial and regulatory frameworks still need to catch up,” Jakimaviciute concluded.

Note: * Between Match 2023 and June 2023 a total of 426 healthcare industry professionals were surveyed.

Reference
[1] Kaul V, Enslin S, Gross SA. History of artificial intelligence in medicine. Gastrointest Endosc. 2020 Oct;92(4):807-812. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2020.06.040. Epub 2020 Jun 18. PMID: 32565184.
[2] Yin J, Ngiam KY, Teo HH. Role of Artificial Intelligence Applications in Real-Life Clinical Practice: Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Apr 22;23(4):e25759. doi: 10.2196/25759. PMID: 33885365; PMCID: PMC8103304.
[3] AI in Clinical Practice – Physician Perspective 2023. Globaldata. Online. Last accesses on July 26, 2023.

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