Putting patients at the heart of Artificial Intelligence

Last week the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heart and Circulatory Diseases published its latest report ‘Putting Patients at the Heart of Artificial Intelligence.’

The report’s findings are based on a literature review, an inquiry examining patients’ perspectives on the impact of AI in healthcare and a public survey to gauge peoples’ level of understanding and knowledge of how AI is being used in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and circulatory diseases.

Amongst the main findings that came out from the patient survey, the following should be noted of importance:

  • 85% of patients who responded to the survey supported the use of AI in healthcare
  • 91% said that the public should be informed of developments in AI on heart and circulatory diseases
  • 90% said the NHS should do more to inform the public of the benefits of AI in healthcare
  • 86% of respondents were happy for their anonymised heath data to be shared
  • Only 17% of those who took the survey were aware of AI being used in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and circulatory diseases.

These statistics show that there is a significant level of support for the use of AI in healthcare amongst heart and circulatory disease patients. Given their own lack of awareness, patients are calling for organisations, such as the NHS to do more to inform the public of the benefits and latest developments in this field.

The report presents a strong case for further meaningful engagement with patients and the pubic, which is reflected in the reports 6 key recommendations, summarised below:

  1. The new unit , NHSX should  set up meetings with charities and the public, to effectively understand patients views and concerns about the use of AI in healthcare.
  2. Understanding Patient Data (UPD) should work with charities, patients and the healthcare sector to develop tools and resources for engaging the public on AI.  
  3. Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) should facilitate the exchange of information around new developments in AI between patients charities, and industry partners. As the report states, “this will allow innovators to better understand the challenges and needs of the patient and the health systems that support them”.
  4. NHS England and NHS should explore the potential impact of wearables and AI on health inequalities.
  5. NHSX should  work with UPD, charities and patient organisations to ensure that ensure that policy development in AI is designed with the explicit purpose of understanding, promoting and protecting public values and that this is clearly and openly communicated.
  6. NHS England and NICE should develop standards for publication for AI research providing trustworthy guidelines for researchers, the media and the public.

For more information, you can read the full report here.

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