Importance: The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding throughout the field of medicine. In dermatology, researchers are evaluating the potential for direct-to-patient and clinician decision-support AI tools to classify skin lesions. Although AI is poised to change how patients engage in health care, patient perspectives remain poorly understood.Objective: To explore how patients conceptualize AI and perceive the use of AI for skin cancer screening.Design, Setting, and Participants: A qualitative study using a grounded theory approach to semistructured interview analysis was conducted in general dermatology clinics at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and melanoma clinics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Forty-eight patients were enrolled. Each interview was independently coded by 2 researchers with interrater reliability measurement; reconciled codes were used to assess code frequency. The study was conducted from May 6 to July 8, 2019.Main Outcomes and Measures: Artificial intelligence concept, perceived benefits and risks of AI, strengths and weaknesses of AI, AI implementation, response to conflict between human and AI clinical decision-making, and recommendation for or against AI.Results: Of 48 patients enrolled, 26 participants (54%) were women; mean (SD) age was 53.3 (21.7) years. Sixteen patients (33%) had a history of melanoma, 16 patients (33%) had a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer only, and 16 patients (33%) had no history of skin cancer. Twenty-four patients were interviewed about a direct-to-patient AI tool and 24 patients were interviewed about a clinician decision-support AI tool. Interrater reliability ratings for the 2 coding teams were kappa=0.94 and kappa=0.89. Patients primarily conceptualized AI in terms of cognition. Increased diagnostic speed (29 participants [60%]) and health care access (29 [60%]) were the most commonly perceived benefits of AI for skin cancer screening; increased patient anxiety was the most commonly perceived risk (19 [40%]). Patients perceived both more accurate diagnosis (33 [69%]) and less accurate diagnosis (41 [85%]) to be the greatest strength and weakness of AI, respectively. The dominant theme that emerged was the importance of symbiosis between humans and AI (45 [94%]). Seeking biopsy was the most common response to conflict between human and AI clinical decision-making (32 [67%]). Overall, 36 patients (75%) would recommend AI to family members and friends.Conclusions and Relevance: In this qualitative study, patients appeared to be receptive to the use of AI for skin cancer screening if implemented in a manner that preserves the integrity of the human physician-patient relationship.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.5014
View details for PubMedID 32159733