Centering Public Perceptions on Translating AI Into Clinical Practice: Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Consultation Focus Group Study

William Lammons, Milou Silkens, Jamie Hunter, Sudhir Shah, Charitini Stavropoulou

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Artificial intelligence (AI) is widely considered to be the new technical advancement capable of a large-scale modernization of health care. Considering AI's potential impact on the clinician-patient relationship, health care provision, and health care systems more widely, patients and the wider public should be a part of the development, implementation, and embedding of AI applications in health care. Failing to establish patient and public engagement and involvement (PPIE) can limit AI's impact. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to (1) understand patients' and the public's perceived benefits and challenges for AI and (2) clarify how to best conduct PPIE in projects on translating AI into clinical practice, given public perceptions of AI. METHODS: We conducted this qualitative PPIE focus-group consultation in the United Kingdom. A total of 17 public collaborators representing 7 National Institute of Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaborations across England participated in 1 of 3 web-based semistructured focus group discussions. We explored public collaborators' understandings, experiences, and perceptions of AI applications in health care. Transcripts were coanalyzed iteratively with 2 public coauthors using thematic analysis. RESULTS: We identified 3 primary deductive themes with 7 corresponding inductive subthemes. Primary theme 1, advantages of implementing AI in health care, had 2 subthemes: system improvements and improve quality of patient care and shared decision-making. Primary theme 2, challenges of implementing AI in health care, had 3 subthemes: challenges with security, bias, and access; public misunderstanding of AI; and lack of human touch in care and decision-making. Primary theme 3, recommendations on PPIE for AI in health care, had 2 subthemes: experience, empowerment, and raising awareness; and acknowledging and supporting diversity in PPIE. CONCLUSIONS: Patients and the public can bring unique perspectives on the development, implementation, and embedding of AI in health care. Early PPIE is therefore crucial not only to safeguard patients but also to increase the chances of acceptance of AI by the public and the impact AI can make in terms of outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49303
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©William Lammons, Milou Silkens, Jamie Hunter, Sudhir Shah, Charitini Stavropoulou. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (https://www.jmir.org), 26.09.2023.

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