Half of Medical Professionals Say AI 'Desirable' Tool Against Burnout

Privacy and security concerns about generative AI are rampant, but there's significant demand for it among healthcare workers.

That's one of the takeaways of the recently released "Clinician of the Future 2023" report by Elsevier Health. Among the over 2,600 medical professionals surveyed,  48 percent said that the use of gen AI technology "to help make clinical decisions will be desirable in two to three years' time."

However, only 11 percent of respondents said they are currently using generative AI tools in their day-to-day duties.  

Per the report:

The dependency on technology has always been high among clinicians, but the appetite for it as an enabling tool is increasing, as it is perceived to help address time pressures, create efficiencies and enhance clinical practice. There is an appetite to use generative AI tools to learn and inform their decision making, and a growing desire among clinicians to have digital technology expertise, especially as they anticipate using patient collected data to help make decisions.

These gen AI tools include improvements to wearable monitoring devices, telehealth, real-time data sharing and automation of repetitive tasks, to name a few.

Elsevier Health's report found the appetite for the growing technology as a way to curb the largest problem medical professionals see facing the industry: burnout. Out of the 2,607 professionals surveyed, 86 percent enjoy their job, but acknowledge they work too many hours. Further, the top concern by 54 percent is addressing the nurse shortage.

Respondents saw the raise of gen AI tech to help address the latter with training the next generation of medical professional. The report found that 51 percent feel that tools utilizing large language models could help in training doctors, with 50 percent saying it could be used to train nurses.   

"In the 2023 survey, clinicians identified many advantages to using AI tools in medical and nursing education, including increased efficiency and decreased cost, as well as supporting in-depth knowledge acquisition," read the report.

To reach the expansion of gen AI in the two-to-three-year timeframe, Elsevier Health said the key is to train and improve medical professionals' tech literacy. The survey found that 62 percent of respondents felt there was a lack in training when it comes to new technology in the industry.

"With efficient, integrated systems -- and the time to learn them -- clinicians around the world may be able to use and benefit more from technology," read the report. "To ensure it is beneficial for all, clinicians need to remain in control of the tools, and there should be transparency around this, particularly towards patients."

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.