Parental Attitudes toward Artificial Intelligence-Driven Precision Medicine Technologies in Pediatric Healthcare

Children (Basel). 2020 Sep 20;7(9):145. doi: 10.3390/children7090145.


Precision medicine relies upon artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies that raise ethical and practical concerns. In this study, we developed and validated a measure of parental openness and concerns with AI-driven technologies in their child's healthcare. In this cross-sectional survey, we enrolled parents of children <18 years in 2 rounds for exploratory (n = 418) and confirmatory (n = 386) factor analysis. We developed a 12-item measure of parental openness to AI-driven technologies, and a 33-item measure identifying concerns that parents found important when considering these technologies. We also evaluated associations between openness and attitudes, beliefs, personality traits, and demographics. Parents (N = 804) reported mean openness to AI-driven technologies of M = 3.4/5, SD = 0.9. We identified seven concerns that parents considered important when evaluating these technologies: quality/accuracy, privacy, shared decision making, convenience, cost, human element of care, and social justice. In multivariable linear regression, parental openness was positively associated with quality (beta = 0.23), convenience (beta = 0.16), and cost (beta = 0.11), as well as faith in technology (beta = 0.23) and trust in health information systems (beta = 0.12). Parental openness was negatively associated with the perceived importance of shared decision making (beta = -0.16) and being female (beta = -0.12). Developers might support parental openness by addressing these concerns during the development and implementation of novel AI-driven technologies.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; biomedical technology; child health; ethics; machine learning; pediatrics; personalized medicine; precision medicine.