Seniors see many positives in the use of artificial intelligence in health and care services, according to a new survey of attitudes towards the future of technology in healthcare.
Some 85 per cent of Australians aged over 65 are comfortable with AI used to diagnose medical problems, compared with 79 per cent of those aged 18 to 24.
However, while the HCF Health Barometer survey found that technology is largely seen as positive, Australians still have some concerns and there is a level of scepticism and uncertainty about how and where AI might be used.
The survey of 1,200 Australians found that 91 per cent of older Australians and 90 per cent of those aged 50 to 64 are comfortable with at-home monitoring of older people using AI tools to alert carers when there are problems.
Some 71 per cent of those aged 65 and over, and 60 per cent of those aged 50 to 64, believed that AI will help with earlier disease detection and reduced incidence of deaths for patients.
However, older Australians were aware of the limitations of technology; 57 per cent identified privacy concerns over patient records and medical confidentiality, while 66 per cent said that machines lack empathy and human intuition. Some 53 per cent of seniors were concerned about a loss of control by humans.
Shaun Larkin, HCF managing director, said it was clear that Australians could see the benefit of technological advancements in health, particularly where it can be used to prevent disease and improve patient care.
“However, it seems we are also torn between the perceived positives and the potential limitations of removing the human element,” said Mr Larkin.
HCF delivers an accelerator program that helps health technology businesses develop their ideas into businesses.
Last week Australian Ageing Agenda reported on the results of an Australian trial that showed the social robot Matilda can be used to effectively engage aged care residents living with dementia (read that story here).
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