The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in patient care currently is one of the most exciting and controversial topics. It is set to become one of the fastest growing industries, and politicians are putting their weight behind this, as much to improve patient care as to exploit new economic opportunities. In 2018, the then UK Prime Minister pledged that the UK would become one of the global leaders in the development of AI in healthcare and its widespread use in the NHS. The Secretary for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, is a self-professed patient registered with Babylon Health’s GP at Hand system, which offers an AI-driven symptom checker coupled with online general practice (GP) consultations replacing visits at regular GP clinics.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in patient care can offer significant benefits. However, there is a lack of independent evaluation considering AI in use. This paper from Sujan et al., published in BMJ Health & Care Informatics, argues that consideration should be given to how AI will be incorporated into clinical processes and services. Human factors challenges that are likely to arise at this level include cognitive aspects (automation bias and human performance), handover and communication between clinicians and AI systems, situation awareness and the impact on the interaction with patients. Human factors research should accompany the development of AI from the outset.