Australians Optimistic About AI in Healthcare

Australians are increasingly positive about the role of AI in the future of healthcare.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been integrating itself into many industries over the last few years and the health industry is no exception. With many processes becoming automated, it is likely that the public will have a mixed response.

However, a new survey undertaken by HCF has uncovered that the majority of Australians support the use of AI in healthcare, meaning that the robotic revolution could be underway much quicker than expected.

The survey, released earlier this week, revealed that a large number of Australians are willing to allow AI to have a significant role in how they receive medical advice. Over 80% of respondents were happy for AI to diagnose common medical problems, while nearly 75% were comfortable with AI prescribing treatments for them.

The HCF Health Barometer Survey, held for the first time last year, investigated the future of medicine and healthcare.

Although the initial feedback from such a survey was encouraging, there were also concerns regarding the use of technology in the healthcare system.

More than half (53%) of those surveyed said that, if implemented, AI would help ease the current pressures burdening the healthcare system. If this turns out to be true, it would certainly help the country’s overworked and understaffed hospital crisis.

Shaun Larkin, Managing Director at HCF, pointed out the positive outcomes of technology’s role in health.

“It’s clear that Australians can see the benefit of technological advancements in health, particularly where it can be used to prevent disease and improve patient care.”

However, there were two main sources of apprehension for Australians when it came to AI and healthcare – medical confidentiality and the lack of human intuition.

While reservations over how patient’s records are stored and shared can be quickly resolved, automating people’s jobs using AI causes more controversy. This is a common concern when talking about the role that AI plays in a human-centric society.

Larkin was also careful to highlight the balance between the benefits and limitations of AI in healthcare.

“We are torn between the perceived positives and the potential limitations of removing the human element,” he explained.

This survey reveals that while some Australians remain sceptical about AI’s role in healthcare, the majority acknowledge the benefits it could provide in the long-term.