By Andrea Park, Becker’s Hospital Review | August 29, 2019

Despite chatbots’ abilities to provide education and promote overall health, patients are still somewhat reluctant to interact with this form of artificial intelligence in a healthcare setting, according to a studypublished Aug. 21 in Digital Health.

Study participants were interviewed about their understanding of chatbots, their concerns about the use of AI in healthcare and the situations in which they would be willing to use a health chatbot. Overall, most participants lacked a thorough understanding of the uses and abilities of chatbots, were wary of the bots’ accuracy and security in handling health information and were reluctant to trade in the convenience of a bot for a lack of human empathy.

Despite this “AI hesitancy,” however, the researchers concluded that there is still room for chatbots in healthcare, as long as they are developed and deployed with the patient experience in mind, undergoing “rigorous piloting that can address patients’ concerns and remove any potential barriers” and being offered only as a “supplementary service rather than a replacement of the professional health force.”

Original Article