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Article: Resistance to Medical Artificial Intelligence

Across a variety of medical decisions ranging from prevention to diagnosis to treatment, we document a robust reluctance to use medical care delivered by AI providers rather than comparable human providers.

Whereas much is known about medical AI’s accuracy, cost-efficiency, and scalability, little is known about patients’ receptivity to medical AI. Yet patients are the ultimate consumers of medical AI, and will determine its adoption and implementation both directly and indirectly.

Chiara Longoni, Andrea Bonezzi, Carey K Morewedge, Resistance to Medical Artificial Intelligence, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 46, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages 629–650.

This is a long paper analysing 9 studies that look at patient preferences when comparing health services that are either automated or provided by human beings. I think it’s an important article that covers a wide range of factors that need to be considered in the context of clinical AI. We’re spending a lot of money on research and development into AI-based interventions but we know almost nothing about how patients will engage with it.

Note: This is a nice idea for a study looking at patient preferences in rehabilitation contexts where we’re likely to see the introduction of robots, for example. I’d be interested to know if there are any differences across geography, culture, etc. Let me know if you’re keen to collaborate.

By Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.