Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
A new study by PwC has revealed that Nigerians top list of those people around the world willing to receive medical care from advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics.
These technologies which have been identified with potential to transform healthcare delivery to make it better, faster and more accessible for all.
The findings explored in PwC’s report sought responses to –What doctor? Why AI and robotics will define New Health – which is based on a commissioned survey of over 11,000 people from 12 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa including Nigeria.
Across the region, more than half of respondents (55per cent) said they were willing to use advanced computer technology or robots with AI that can answer health questions, perform tests, make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.
Three main themes emerged from the findings: People are increasingly willing to engage with AI and robots if it means better access to healthcare, speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment is a critical factor for this willingness, trust in the technology is vital for wider use and adoption; the ‘human touch’ remains a key component of the healthcare experience.
The survey found that even in the operating theatre, respondents would be willing for a robot to perform a minor surgical procedure instead of a doctor, with close to half and up to 73per cent of all respondents willing.
Respondents in Nigeria, Turkey and South Africa were the most willing to undergo minor surgery performed by robots (73%, 66% and 62% respectively), with the UK the least willing (36%).
Dr. Bert Odiaka, Partner and Advisory leader, PwC Nigeria, said, “Whether we like it or not, AI and robotics are the future of healthcare. Access to quality, affordable healthcare, and good health for everyone are the ultimate goals. The economic and social advantages to be gained from integrating AI and robotics seamlessly into our existing healthcare systems, and then creating new models of healthcare based on these technologies, are enormous.”
Gbenga Olatunji, Associate Director, PwC Nigeria’s advisory practice said, ”It’s clear that people are becoming more and more willing to embrace new technologies such as AI and robotics for their healthcare needs. But governments, businesses and the healthcare profession as a whole need to start thinking very differently about how we provide healthcare to our citizens. We need to think very carefully about our implementation strategy for different parts of the world. There will be challenges for all of us.”
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