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Most consumers wary of AI giving healthcare advice, suggestions

Healthcare ranked far below retail when it came to consumer trust in AI, though younger generations were more favorable toward the technology.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

In general, consumers don't mind artificial intelligence. Many will use AI-generated advice in the retail world, or when checking out hotels and restaurant recommendations. When it comes to healthcare, though, consumers tend to be more distrustful.

According to a new Harris Poll for Invoca survey, just 20% of consumers would trust AI-generated advice for healthcare. That's well below retail (49%) and hospitality (38%), and above only financial services (19%).

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

It came as no surprise that, from a generational standpoint, younger consumers are more likely to be trusting of AI-generated advice. Eighty percent of 18-34-year-olds suggested a willingness to trust AI generally, compared to 62% of those 35 or older.

The numbers don't provide a huge boost to healthcare, though. Just 22% said they would trust AI-generated advice for healthcare, the same percentage that voiced their approval of AI in financial services. Still, it's miles above the percentage of those 65 and older who trust AI in healthcare: That number was just 10%.

The survey's authors said it made sense that retail would generate more AI-related trust since it's a fairly "frictionless purchase process," with a minimal price to pay if something goes wrong. In industry verticals like healthcare, the stakes are likely to be higher, which may account for it facing considerably higher consumer hesitation.

Ultimately, the one thing that tied generations together was their preference for human contact, whether in person or through a device. Thirty-two percent of consumers prefer to complete a transaction over the phone, 30% prefer to do it in person, 6% prefer a brand's mobile app, and 5 percent said they'd actively choose AI technology, such as a chatbot.

THE LARGER TREND

Despite consumer hesitance about its applications, AI in healthcare is expanding globally, with a recent ResearchandMarkets.com report projecting it to be worth $27.6 billion by 2025.

The high growth is due to factors such as rising funding in AI, the growing demand of precision medicine, effective cost reduction in healthcare expenditure, and accurate and early diagnosis of chronic diseases and disorders.

End user reluctance in adopting AI technologies, lack of trust and potential risks associated AI are all restricting the growth of the market to a certain extent.

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com