Would you trust a robot to diagnose your cancer?
Would you trust a robot to diagnose your cancer? According to researchers at Penn State, people with high confidence in machine performance and also in their own technological capabilities are more likely to accept and use digital healthcare services and providers.
"There is increasing use of automated systems in the medical field, where intake is now often conducted through a kiosk instead of by a receptionist," said S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects. "We investigated user acceptance of these 'robot receptionists,' along with automated nurses and doctors. In addition, we tested whether the form that these roles took — human-like, avatar or robot — made a difference in user acceptance."
According to Sundar, the healthcare industry can benefit from increased reliance on automated systems.
"Doctors are limited by their human bandwidth, by their experience, knowledge and even state of mind from minute to minute," he said. "In contrast, machines can be programmed to 'think' of all the possible conditions that a patient's symptoms could point to, and they never get tired. Some level of automation is clearly needed."
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