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Three out of four U.S. patients don’t trust AI in a healthcare setting, and nearly four out of five patients report not knowing if their provider is using AI, a new study by Carta Healthcare found.

The poll, led by Carta Healthcare, reached 1,027 U.S. adults in August. The company makes products aimed at streamlining admin tasks for providers. This was Carta’s first survey focused on AI.

In reality, 100% of healthcare providers are using AI and have been for a long time. This discrepancy illustrates the public’s misperception of using this technology, which is evident by the 43% of respondents who admit there are limitations in their understanding of AI.

“The survey indicates that Americans are uncertain about AI in healthcare, and that the healthcare industry needs to educate Americans about the benefits of AI to improve trust and comfort with its use,” says Matt Hollingsworth, CEO of Carta Healthcare. “AI can help providers improve patient care and outcomes, but it will best succeed if patients understand that it’s used as an assistive tool, not as a replacement for human interpretation and decisions.”

Most Americans are Unaware of AI Use and Consider Disclosure Important

While most respondents don’t know whether their healthcare providers use AI, they are torn about whether they would be comfortable with it – 49% say yes, and 51% say no – even if it would help improve diagnostic accuracy (51% say yes, 42% say no).

Regardless of actual usage, there is still disbelief and concern. Sixty-one percent trust that their provider could use it properly, while another 63% are worried that using AI may lead to less face time with their healthcare provider.

Patients need disclosure; the vast majority (80%) report that their knowledge of AI use within a practice is important for improving comfort.

Trust in AI is Low, But Americans are Willing to Learn More, and Education Could Improve Trust

The survey also indicates low sentiment from healthcare consumers regarding trusting and understanding AI. Only around one-third of U.S. patients trust AI (38%), and under two-thirds (57%) feel they understand AI well and how it’s used in healthcare. However, Americans are open to learning more and indicate that may improve their trust and comfort.

Forty-seven percent feel that if they were to learn about it, they would be more likely to trust it. Nearly two-thirds (65%) reported that if they were to have an explanation of the use of AI by their healthcare providers, it would make them more comfortable with its use.

Three-fifths believe that AI could be helpful to assist with the shortage of healthcare workers.

An infographic showcasing U.S. consumers’ sentiments on various topics related to healthcare, including AI, patient experience, and data privacy, can be found here.

Renee Hewitt
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