Harvard Business Review: For Patients to Trust Medical AI, They Need to Understand It

Diagnostic care health applications, enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), have become more widely available directly to consumers, including on mobile devices. However, consumers have been slow to adopt the use of such tools as they tend to trust human health care providers more than their AI analog. Lack of appreciation of the patient’s unique needs and the ambiguity surrounding accountability for mistakes made by AI, are just a few of the reasons that the consumer trust lags. In a recent Harvard Business Review article co-authored by Chiara Longoni, assistant professor of marketing, Carey Morewedge, professor of marketing, and their colleague Romain Cadario, assistant professor of marketing at Erasmus University, they grapple with this issue and discuss potential interventions.

Consumer adoption of medical AI has as much to do with their negative perceptions of AI care providers as with their unrealistically positive views of human care providers. Consumers are reluctant to rely on AI care providers because they do not believe they understand or objectively understand how AI makes medical decisions; they view its decision-making as a black box.

Chiara Longoni
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Carey Morewedge
Professor of Marketing

Understanding consumer resistance to AI is a critical topic for policymakers. For many health policy experts, the use of innovative health services and technology are a means to improving the health care system.