Digital Implementation, News

Report finds doctors and nurses ready to embrace generative AI


Elsevier Health’s landmark Clinician of the Future 2023 report highlights new opportunities technology will play in providing relief for healthcare workers and geographical differences in opinion

Global information and data analytics leader, Elsevier Health, has today released its Clinician of the Future 2023 report, offering a snapshot view on what doctors and nurses think about the changes and current challenges in healthcare, including the rapid rise of generative AI products and platforms.

The report finds that nearly half of all doctors and nurses surveyed are eager to make use of these new technologies to support their clinical decision-making. While only 11 per cent of today’s clinical decisions are assisted by generative AI tools, 48 per cent of respondents said that doctors using these tools to help make clinical decisions will be ‘desirable’ within two-three years’ time.

The current study comes one year after the launch of the inaugural Clinician of the Future report, which aimed to provide a voice for clinicians and a mandate for change to help ‘future-proof’ the global health industry. This new report canvassed the views and opinions of 2,607 doctors and nurses worldwide, building upon the understanding of healthcare workforce challenges highlighted in the original survey, but now putting an additional lens on the future of generative AI technologies across global healthcare.

Participants across both Clinician of the Future reports spotlight concerns around overwhelming resource issues for healthcare systems worldwide, even as they face substantial treatment backlogs. Clinician shortages remain the top concern in North America and Europe, with 54 per cent of clinicians surveyed for the 2023 report identifying nurse shortages as a pressing health priority.

“73 per cent of doctors surveyed believe they themselves will need to be experts in the use of digital health technologies…within the next two-three years.”

45 per cent similarly reported the need to tackle doctor shortages, reinforcing the urgent need for innovative solutions, such as generative AI, to address clinician shortages, as well as identifying opportunities for efficiencies and training to both enhance clinical readiness and provide much needed clinician support.

Additionally, doctors surveyed believe that they will themselves need to be experts in the use of digital health technologies, with 73 per cent of clinicians agreeing that these skills will be ‘desirable’ within the next two-three years. Accordingly, 55 per cent expressed as ‘desirable’ the transition towards ‘telehealth’, agreeing that remote routine checkups should form the majority of patient-clinician interactions within the next 2-3 years.

While more than half (51 per cent) of clinicians welcomed the prospect of medical students using generative AI-powered tools as part of their medical education in the next 2-3 years, clinicians from the UK and the US were found to be more reserved about generative AI technologies supporting medical students; only 33 per cent in the UK and 40 per cent in the US found this ‘desirable’.

Jan Herzhoff, President of Elsevier Health said: “As healthcare systems continue to face significant challenges, we must raise the voices of doctors and nurses worldwide to understand how we can best support them and the patients they care for. In this pursuit, advanced technology combined with trusted medical content emerges as a powerful ally, and generative AI, particularly, shows immense promise in helping clinicians.”

Mr. Herzhoff added: “By equipping clinicians with advanced tools and training to support their clinical decision-making, doctors and nurses will be empowered to allocate more time to the human aspect of patient care.”

As global healthcare systems progress towards a more digital-first approach, the findings in the Clinician of the Future 2023 report demonstrate that the workforce not only recognises the potential new technologies like generative AI can provide to innovate global healthcare, but also their beneficial impacts on patient care.

Josh Schoeller, President, Global Clinical Solutions at Elsevier and CEO, Healthcare at LexisNexis Risk Solutions said, “Elsevier is renowned for powerful point-of-care solutions that support clinicians throughout their workday. We have been at the forefront of developing clinical solutions tools, prioritising the responsible use of AI, while anticipating and staying ahead of the latest technology trends. We are deeply committed to listening to the needs of clinicians so we can continuously enhance our products to create efficiencies, enabling clinicians to prioritise delivering life-saving care.

For the full ‘Clinician of the Future 2023’ report, which includes robust data on global attitudes on the future of healthcare, important insights on training and development and more, click here.