Public Attitudes Toward Use of AI in Healthcare

In partnership with CityAge, Mustel Group polled Metro Vancouver residents to understand public perspectives on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

The Findings

Two-thirds of BC adults report to have some understanding of AI, but only one-in-ten describe their level of knowledge as ‘very good’. The public is divided with respect to their healthcare provider relying on AI to do such things as diagnose conditions or recommend treatments: 49% are comfortable and 45% are uncomfortable with use of AI.

Perceived benefits or reasons for supporting include:

  • Efficiency/reduction of workload
  • Reduced errors
  • Trust in the technology
  • Use of multiple sources of data

Concerns expressed include:

  • Can’t replicate human perspective
  • Accuracy of information/over-diagnosis
  • Lack of trust in AI /too new
  • Over reliance
  • Data breaches

However, those with an opinion tend to believe that use of AI in healthcare would lead to better outcomes (rather than worse) and would reduce the number of mistakes made in healthcare.

When given examples of how AI could be used in healthcare, there tends to be greater acceptance of AI, particularly for such things as skin cancer screening and analysis of personal health data. There is also some acceptance of using AI for complex surgeries, and pain medication to prevent oversubscribing.

In summary, while there is healthy skepticism regarding the value of AI in healthcare, increasing public knowledge about AI and its potential applications in this field is likely to foster greater acceptance.

Click here to see the full report



About this survey:

  • 752 online interviews conducted with a sample of British Columbia residents, 18 years of age and older.
  • Mustel Group’s Giving Opinions panel used (100% randomly recruited) supplemented by a panel partner to ensure the sample is representative of the population.
  • Minor weighting was applied to match the sample to Statistics Canada census data on the basis of age, gender and region.
  • Margin of error on sample: +/-5% at 95% level of confidence. Please note that margin of error only applies to random samples.
  • Data collection: May 7 – 17, 2024
  • Please see data tables here: C381 AI tables