Published on 18 Jun 2024

Gastroenterologists generally trust AI tools, study finds

Artificial intelligence (AI) has permeated many aspects of medicine, with promises of accurate diagnoses, better management decisions, and improved outcomes for both patients and the healthcare system. However, to successfully implement AI technology in clinical practice, trust and acceptance among healthcare providers to use such tools is crucial.

Now, using the treatment of digestive diseases as a case study, an international study led by NTU Singapore has found that doctors in the gastroenterology practice generally trust and accept AI medical tools.

Through surveying 165 gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons in the Asia-Pacific region, the NTU Singapore-led research team found that eight in 10 say they accept and trust the use of AI-powered tools in diagnosing and assessing colorectal polyps (benign growths in the colon that could become cancerous).

When it came to using AI to guide an endoscopist on whether to remove polyps found in the bowel of those undergoing screening colonoscopy, seven in 10 said they accept and trust this AI-assisted application. (See Notes to Editor below for more data).

The research team found no difference in levels of acceptance between the male and female doctors, between those working in public and private settings, as well as between those working in big hospital units and small group practices.

However, the number of years of experience was a crucial factor. While one would expect young doctors to be more receptive to using technology in clinical decision making, the study found that gastroenterologists with fewer than 10 years of clinical experience perceived a higher risk of these AI-powered medical tools than their colleagues with more than 10 years of experience.

The findings, published in the scientific journal JMIR AI in March, highlight the need for more research into what influences doctors’ acceptance of AI in their medical practice, said the team of scientists from Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

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