Gezondheidszorg08 mei, 2024

The future of generative AI in healthcare is driven by consumer trust

Consumer trust and sentiment in generative AI is increasing and there is potential for GenAI to improve healthcare delivery and care, according to a new survey.

Generative AI is the future of healthcare efficiency—and trust might be the key to guaranteeing results.

While ChatGPT and similar tools have skyrocketed in awareness and usage, attitudes and approaches around the use of generative AI (GenAI) in healthcare have largely been foggy. But those clouds may be starting to break.

Our recent survey on gaining consumer trust in AI reviews attitudes and expectations around GenAI in healthcare, revealing deeply useful insights for leaders who are exploring using AI in day-to-day work.

Overall, the future is bright, but accessing the benefits of GenAI in healthcare will rely on exploring current perceptions and taking advantage of opportunities to build trust in and understanding of this emerging technology.

What is generative AI in healthcare?

GenAI is a form of artificial intelligence that’s trained to find patterns in data and then generate new content. The potential in healthcare is significant. This is an industry with massive amounts of unstructured data scattered across disparate sources—with limited options in turning that data into usable assets. Harnessing GenAI in healthcare can help bridge this gap.

When used strategically, GenAI applications can enhance everything from continuity of care, contracting, clinical operations, and overall corporate functions, including back-office work like purchasing and accounts payable.

On the clinical side, GenAI has future potential to generate discharge summaries, surface relevant expert clinical content, translate instructions into various languages, create lab summaries from physician rounds, and synthesize shift-hand-off notes. It can also be used to improve Electronic Health Record (EHR) function, by prepopulating visit summaries and suggesting changes in documentation.

Understanding consumer trust in AI is critical

Optimizing results in an artificial intelligence initiative starts with understanding consumer feelings toward GenAI—an area of untapped potential for many healthcare stakeholders. A recent report from Deloitte revealed that most healthcare organizations are neglecting the patient perspective in their considerations for how artificial intelligence fits into their technology strategies, instead prioritizing data, compliance, security, and privacy.

Our recent Wolters Kluwer survey reveals this as a significant opportunity. While many Americans have concerns or even fear around GenAI, 45% are starting from a position of curiosity. Over half of Americans (52%) report they would be confident in the results if they found out their own provider was using GenAI to support care.

These are feelings and perceptions that healthcare stakeholders, from providers to health plans, can help spread. According to Deloitte experts, “With less of a focus on what’s important to the consumers, health care organizations may find that trust and engagement levels drop. As healthcare organizations begin to integrate GenAI into their workflows, taking a holistic, institutional approach may help achieve a successful implementation at an enterprise level.”

Three steps to fostering health consumer trust in AI

Success in GenAI initiatives will require building trust. This starts with leveraging the role of healthcare providers in supporting transparency in AI applications across the organization.

1. Understand and address concerns

Begin with acknowledging consumer concerns up front. Our survey revealed that 86% of Americans believe that a central problem with GenAI in healthcare is not knowing how information is validated or where information comes from. 82% agree that one problem is information coming from filterless internet searches.

To address this concern, consider the doctor-patient relationships and the role of healthcare providers as trusted and informed guides in applying GenAI solutions in healthcare settings.

2. Consider transparency in AI solutions

Four out of every five Americans report that they’d be concerned to find out that their provider was leaning on GenAI in a diagnosis or examination. But only 63% say they’d be concerned if they knew their physician was using GenAI from an established source in healthcare—one that was created by doctors and other clinicians and that was constantly being updated. Digging deeper into this perspective reveals useful details in using GenAI in healthcare in a way that supports a positive patient experience and fosters trust.

Specialist involvement is critical

86% of patients say they would need to know doctors and medical specialists were involved in the process of creating the content GenAI is using.

Patients want vendors who know healthcare

81% of patients report they would need to know the company providing the AI had a long track record in the healthcare industry.

It’s important to look at this dynamic in the doctor-patient relationship through a segmented lens. While two out of every three Americans report they’d switch to another physician if they found out their provider was using GenAI, generational nuances are at play. Gen X and Boomers would be less likely than Millennials and Gen Z to change to a provider who wasn’t using GenAI—58%, 55% vs. 71%, 69% percent respectively. Why? This is likely because of stronger and better-established doctor-patient relationships in older generations.

Out of surveyed health consumers...

3. Take advantage of existing inertia

When implementing a GenAI program, know that trends are in your favor. Almost half of Americans (45%) believe that GenAI can help improve healthcare by supporting tasks like reading X-rays, medical tests, and images more thoroughly and accurately. Over 42% are open to using GenAI as a follow up resource to ask questions after an appointment or about medications when they aren’t able to access a pharmacist.

Most Americans believe GenAI will eventually become part of their healthcare experience—only 5% believe it will never be embedded in healthcare, while almost 20% believe it will happen in the next one-two years and 24% expect it in the next three-five.

How to take action that fosters consumer trust in generative AI

As GenAI in healthcare continues to gather inertia, look for solutions that allow you to strategically integrate artificial intelligence into clinical decision support. Additionally, consider prioritizing engagement with vendors and developers that are open to involvement from the healthcare community as they build and refine the future of GenAI in healthcare.

Learn more about gaining consumer trust in generative AI in healthcare. Fill out the form to download our survey executive summary.

Download Survey Infographic
Download the executive summary, Generative AI in healthcare: Gaining consumer trust by filling out the form below.
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