HealthDay News — Parents are generally receptive to computer-assisted management of children with respiratory illnesses in the emergency department though some express concerns, according to a study published online May 13 in Academic Pediatrics.

Sriram Ramgopal, M.D., from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and colleagues examined parental perceptions of computer-assisted emergency department care for children with respiratory illness. The analysis included survey results from 1,620 parents with minor children in their homes.

The researchers found that most respondents were comfortable with the use of computer programs to determine the need for antibiotics (77.6 percent) or bloodwork (76.5 percent) and to interpret radiographs (77.5 percent). Black non-Hispanic parents reported greater discomfort with artificial intelligence (AI) versus White non-Hispanic parents (odds ratio, 1.67) as did younger parents (18 to 25 years) versus parents aged 46 years or older (odds ratio, 2.48). The greatest perceived benefits of AI were finding something a human would miss (64.2 percent) and obtaining a more rapid diagnosis (59.6 percent). Diagnostic errors (63.0 percent) and recommending incorrect treatment (58.9 percent) were the greatest points of concern.


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“Our results suggest that development of AI tools to improve the care of children in an acute care setting needs to involve a diverse set of patient and parent stakeholders early on in the process to ensure that they are comfortable with the technology and that the new tools do not contain unintentional bias,” Ramgopal said in a statement.

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