As the use of AI tech for health is increasing at a rapid rate, how do patients feel about trusting it?
The IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, have today unveiled “Generation AI 2019: Third Annual Study of Millennial Parents and Generation Alpha Kids.” The survey reveals the confidence millennial parents in the U.S., U.K., India, China and Brazil with Generation Alpha children (nine years-old or younger) may have in using AI and emerging technologies for the health and wellness of their children.
Considered to be the most tech-infused demographic, born 2010-2025, Generation Alpha is growing up with AI benefiting their health and wellness, and technology infiltrating nearly every aspect of their lives.
AI is unlikely to use a ‘human’ looking, talking robot like that shown in the image above, but will parents trust technology to make decisions surrounding their children? Here’s just some of the findings the research uncovered:
Millennial parents would allow a 3D printed heart to be implanted in their children
Human donor organ availability can mean the difference between life and death. But researchers are using 3D printing technologies to develop organs, including hearts that use human cells, collagen and biological molecules.
- A majority of parents (U.S.: 52%; U.K.: 60%; Brazil: 75%; India: 92%; China: 94%) would be very comfortable allowing a properly tested/fully functional 3D printed heart to be implanted in their child if needed in the future.
- That said, some parents surveyed would be “extremely” comfortable allowing a 3D printed heart to be implanted in their child (India: 58%; China: 50%; Brazil: 42%) while others are not very comfortable (U.S.: 48%; U.K.: 40%).
For aches and pains — goodbye medication, hello VR
VR headsets can immerse people in 3D virtual environments, allowing VR to be used for pain management.
- A significant majority of Millennial parents surveyed globally would prefer their pediatrician to recommend VR pain therapy instead of medication to alleviate their child’s pain (China: 97%; India: 96%; Brazil: 90%; U.K: 82%; U.S: 79%).
- In addition, some parents “strongly” prefer their pediatrician to recommend VR pain therapy instead of pain medication, including those in India (75%), China (58%) and Brazil (45%), but only one-third of parents in both the U.S and U.K.
AI-powered virtual nurse? Not when our kids are in the hospital, U.S. and U.K. parents say
Though telehealth, AI and remote monitoring tools are helping nursing expand care beyond in-person bedside monitoring creating a practically virtual nurse, a majority of Millennial parents in the U.S. (67%) and U.K. (57%) would not be very comfortable leaving their child in the care of an AI-powered virtual nurse during a hospital stay. Conversely, a majority of millennial parents in China (88%), India (83%) and Brazil (61%) would be very comfortable leaving their child at the hospital in the care of an AI-powered virtual nurse.
U.S. millennial parents an exception to allowing robot surgery on children
Surgical robots powered by artificial intelligence are bringing new innovations and accuracy to the operating room, however US and UK parents were not keen.
- Millennial parents in Asia are significantly more likely to allow robots powered by AI to conduct surgery on their Generation Alpha child — even more so in 2019 as compared to 2018 (China: 94% in 2019 vs. 82% in 2018; India: 86% in 2019 vs. 78% in 2018), while in 2019, 51% in the U.K. (a six percent increase over 2018) and 46 percent of Millennial parents in the U.S. (a 1% increase from 2018), say they would be very likely.
- In Brazil, 69% of Millennial parents in 2019 say they would be very likely to allow robots powered by AI conduct surgery as compared to 60% in 2018.
- However, 25 percent of Millennial parents in the U.S. and 21 percent in the U.K. say they would be “not likely at all” to allow this surgery on their child.
Self-driving school buses – stress relief for some parents, not others
Juggling work and transporting kids to school on time can be stressful for both parents and children. Autonomous technologies are being deployed in self-driving buses piloted around the world, but millennial parents are divided on how likely they would be to allow their child to take such transportation to school to minimize their stress, even if tested as safe and staffed by a caretaker robot.
A majority of American millennial parents (58%) and U.K. parents (51%) say they are not very likely to allow their child to take a self-driving bus to school while a clear majority of parents in China (91%), India (87%) and Brazil (67%) say they are very likely to allow their child to take such a self-driving bus to school to minimise their stress.
Rare genetic diseases in a snapshot
Machine learning is helping clinicians diagnose rare diseases by analysing patient photos and correlating detected irregularities with rare genetic diseases. Millennial parents concerned about their child are universally comfortable using this technology to seek answers, though those in Asia are the most comfortable.
- Millennial parents from Asia (India: 90%; China: 89%) say they would be very comfortable using this technology for diagnosing their child.
- More than three-quarters of Brazilian millennial parents (78%) say they would be very comfortable using this technology to diagnose their child, while 57% of millennial parents in the U.S. as well as the U.K. say the same.
Favourite recliner chairs could have health smarts too
AI and sensor technologies are powering a growing number of “smart” devices, from voice-enabled speakers to refrigerators with interior cameras that can monitor if milk is running low. In the future, smart furniture may be embedded with sensors that measure biometrics such as weight, blood pressure and heart rate. Universally, millennial parents would be very interested (U.S.: 63%; U.K.: 66%; Brazil: 86%; China: 92%; India: 94%) in having a smart chair in their home that could automatically conduct health tests.
AI accelerating as care preference during golden years (instead of relying on kids)
Overwhelmingly around the globe, millennial parents’ preference is strong for using AI to live independently during their golden years rather than relying on their Generation Alpha children, and has increased significantly over the past year across most regions.
- The most dramatic growth in preference for AI to live independently in their golden years is among Brazilian parents, which leapt to 82% in 2019, from 61% in 2018.
- A similar trend is seen in India, where 90% of millennial parents in 2019 prefer to rely on AI as compared to 79% in 2018. China’s millennial parents continue to have the highest preference for AI support as they age — 93% in 2019 vs. 94% in 2018.
- In the U.K., 74% of millennial parents in 2019 prefer to rely on AI for care, a 13 percent increase from 2018 when 61% of parents cited preference for relying on AI.
- A clear majority of American millennial parents in 2019 prefer to rely on AI (61%), a five percent increase from 2018 when 56% of U.S. parents cited preference for relying on AI. As such, preference for relying on their children for care in their golden years decreased in 2019 to 39% vs. 44% in 2018.
Doctors using AI for kids’ cancer diagnoses sought
Artificial intelligence technologies are being used to improve diagnoses for certain types and grades of cancer. A majority of millennial parents worldwide say they would be very likely to seek out a doctor using AI for cancer diagnoses should their child or a family member need such an evaluation.
A majority of millennial parents in China (94%), India (88%) and Brazil (78%) would be very likely to seek out a doctor using AI for cancer diagnoses for their child or a family member, while 59% of U.K. parents and 53% of U.S. parents are very likely to do so.
Rise in parents likely to use chatbot pediatrician diagnoses
People are conversing with AI chatbots that compare symptoms against a database of diseases, patient history and circumstances, then recommend a course of action. For the second year in a row, IEEE asked millennial parents across the globe how likely they would be to use an AI and speech recognition-powered chatbot to diagnose their sick Generation Alpha child.
● More than nine out of 10 parents in China (95%) say they are likely to use an AI chatbot to diagnose their sick child in the future, up from 85% in 2018, including more than half (53%) “extremely” likely. Likewise, in India, 87% of parents are likely to use an AI chatbot for their child’s diagnosis in 2019 with 60% saying they are extremely likely, up significantly from 2018 (38%).
● U.K. parents are more likely in 2019 (53%) than in 2018 (50%) to use this technology to diagnose their child, while U.S. parents continue to not be very likely (2019: 51 % vs. 2018: 52%) to use this technology to diagnose their child.
To review the survey data, and learn more about how health- and wellness-related AI technologies are benefiting humanity, please visit https://transmitter.ieee.org/health-2019.
To review “Generation AI 2018: Second Annual Study of Millennial Parents of Generation Alpha Kids,” visit https://transmitter.ieee.org/ai.