For the fourth consecutive year, IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, has revealed the results of a new study into the confidence respondents have in AI and emerging technologies for the health and wellness of their families. Here are just some of the findings that this year’s study uncovered:
Millennial parents would feel comfortable leaving their child in the care of an AI powered nurse:
Telehealth, AI and remote monitoring tools are helping nursing expand care beyond in-person bedside monitoring creating a practically virtual nurse. About half of parents globally in 2020 (54%) are extremely or very comfortable leaving their child in the care of an AI-powered virtual nurse during a hospital stay. In the UK, respondents were extremely or very comfortable.
Parents are less comfortable to allow a 3D printed heart to be implanted in their children:
During the pandemic, 3D printing has been used to innovatively create personal protective equipment, medical devices, and testing. Researchers are also using 3D printing technologies to develop organs, including hearts that use human cells, collagen, and biological molecules, since human donor organ availability can mean the difference between life and death.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of Millennial parents globally are at least very comfortable with allowing a properly tested/fully functional 3D printed heart to be implanted in their child if needed, though about one in 10 (11%) are not comfortable at all.
Trust grows in using robots to disinfect, clean and sanitise public spaces:
Self-driving cleaning robots have also been deployed during the pandemic for various tasks, from disinfecting areas using ultraviolet lights and scrubbing floors, helping to maintain safe environments for essential workers and the public.
A majority of those surveyed (89%) have at least some trust in robots to clean or sanitise public spaces such as a transportation centre, movie theatre, restaurant or school, before entering to ensure it is safe, with 44% having complete trust.
To minimise overcrowding, maintain social distancing and help curb the spread of COVID-19, sensor technologies and apps that indicate the number of people in a specific location are being implemented in public entertainment and cultural venues.
While 46% of respondents strongly agree (and 82% agree) that they would trust sensor technology to accurately indicate the flow of people in and out of public spaces, fewer (38%) strongly agree that they would only patronise theatres using this technology.
71% agree they would not visit venues such as theatres until there is a wide distribution of an effective vaccine.
To foster health and safety, talking autonomous robots working alongside human waitstaff are being used in some restaurants to detect and monitor how far apart guests are and when needed, telling them to maintain social distance and stay six feet apart. Notably, 48% of those surveyed globally say they strongly agree that they are likely to listen to a human restaurant worker who tells them to socially distance, and 41% strongly agree that they are likely to listen to a robot.
As telehealth expands, respondents are split over whether to leave their child with a virtual nurse:
Telehealth, AI and remote monitoring tools are helping nursing expand care beyond in-person bedside monitoring creating a practically virtual nurse. About half of parents globally in 2020 (54%) are extremely or very comfortable leaving their child in the care of an AI-powered virtual nurse during a hospital stay. Parents’ sentiment regarding leaving their child with an AI virtual nurse varies across countries, with 52% of parents in the UK extremely or very comfortable.
Robot surgery for children and chatbot diagnoses divides respondents:
Surgical robots powered by artificial intelligence are bringing new innovations and accuracy to the operating room. A majority of Millennial parents are extremely (29%) or very (31%) likely to allow robots powered by AI to conduct surgery on their child. In addition, 64% of those surveyed say they would be extremely or very likely to chat online with an AI and speech recognition-powered chatbot to diagnose their sick child.