In a survey of the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the UK industry, 46% of healthcare leaders reported their organization used the technology in some capacity, reflecting an 8% increase compared to 2018. The biggest growth areas reported were research-level AI, which grew 13% in the past 12 months. Robot process automation (RPA) and general automation both increased by 10%, while the use of voice recognition technology increased by 9%.
Recognition of AI’s transformative potential for healthcare organizations is becoming increasingly widespread – not just when it comes to central or so-called ‘back office’ processes but by genuinely enhancing the quality of patient care”.
Despite this, the findings suggested that the use of AI in healthcare largely remained restricted to experimental applications, and “smaller, localized pilot projects geared towards specific, practical outcomes”.
It also reported a worrying lack of transparency around the implementation of AI within healthcare organizations: 96% of healthcare employees surveyed said they had never been consulted about the introduction of the technology by their boss.
At the same time, two-thirds (69%) of employees said they had yet to complete training on how to use the technology within their role.
When it came to healthcare leaders, more than a third (37%) of healthcare leaders said preparing usable data represented their biggest challenge to scaling AI. The biggest flaw in the UK health system is that it has the data that a lot of companies would happily pay for but there is no way to guarantee clarity of ownership or governance.
Establishing a clear ethical framework and educating staff on the responsible use of AI is therefore critical to the healthcare industry’s journey to becoming truly AI-enabled.