Most Americans Take Cautious Approach to Generative AI in Healthcare

While artificial intelligence (AI) has been transforming the healthcare industry for decades, the emergence of generative AI is set to reshape critical aspects of healthcare, from drug discovery and diagnostics to the delivery of care.

According to the “Generative AI Tracker® study by PYMNTS Intelligence, which analyzes the current state and future potential of generative AI in healthcare, startups specializing in generative AI will play a critical role in this shift to transform the care continuum in healthcare.

This is evidenced by successful moves in securing investments, emergence from stealth mode, and new client announcements, as these firms work towards advancing deployment of various use cases in research, diagnostic testing, and patient care.

Last month, Copenhagen-based startup Corti raised $60 million to expand its AI assistant designed to support healthcare clinicians with patient assessments in real time. Prior to that in July, Neko Health, a healthtech company co-founded by Spotify founder Daniel Ek, announced the completion of a $65 million series A funding round aimed at expanding its AI-driven technology for full-body scans.

Overall, the generative AI market for healthcare is valued at over $1 billion and is projected to reach almost $22 billion by 2032.

But while Americans see the upsides, they are very cautious about AI in their healthcare.

According to the study, published in collaboration with AI-ID, Americans are enthusiastic about the potential benefits of AI in healthcare but still feel uncomfortable with the idea of healthcare providers relying on AI or replacing their medical professionals with this technology.

In fact, 60% of Americans surveyed for the report say they are uncomfortable with a provider relying on AI in their healthcare while 57% believe using AI to diagnose diseases and suggest treatments would harm the patient-provider relationship.

These findings align with data from another PYMNTS Intelligence study which found that while customers enjoy AI’s benefits in entertainment, communication and shopping, they are most hesitant about AI in healthcare, banking and work.

In fact, 42% of all consumers are at least somewhat interested in AI involvement in their healthcare — a share which drops to 34% among baby boomers and seniors, the study noted.

These concerns are not off base. As the PYMNTS-AI-ID study noted, generative AI in healthcare, despite its potential, still requires further development. This includes training models on healthcare-specific data and establishing robust benchmarks.

The lack of resources, expertise, and regulation are also seen as the biggest barriers to implementing generative AI in healthcare. Developers and regulators will need to address these challenges to ensure the efficacy and public trust in generative AI.

On the upside, however, some Americans already see the benefits AI offers in the healthcare space — 40% say that AI would help reduce mistakes while 38% believe AI will drive better outcomes for patients.

In conclusion, generative AI has the potential to transform the healthcare space by improving drug discovery, diagnostics and patient care, among others benefits. However, there are still challenges to overcome, including the need for further development and public acceptance as well as robust regulation. Addressing these challenges will be critical to ensuring the responsible and effective use of generative AI in healthcare.