Healthcare Trails Other Sectors In Developing AI Code of Ethics

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- While there is a great deal of hype and potential about artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool in medicine, only 36% of U.S. business decision makers in healthcare say their organizations have a code of ethics for this technology - the lowest among the five industries surveyed by KPMG LLP.

Another 21% of healthcare leaders with at least a moderate knowledge of AI said their organizations were in the process of developing a code of ethics for the use of AI, trailing the five-industry average of 31%.

Living in an AI World: Achievements and Challenges in Artificial Intelligence across Five Industries, a survey of 750 U.S. business decision makers about AI, found that 88% of respondents - including 90% in the healthcare sector - should implement an AI ethics policy to help govern how it is implemented and to better address concerns about bias, safety and data security and privacy.

"AI is going to have a vital, but complex, role in healthcare systems," said Bharat Rao, KPMG's data & analytics leader for healthcare & life sciences. "Studies are showing AI's capabilities as a powerful tool to improve the accuracy of a clinical diagnosis and to support decision-making. It will transform how people work, whether they are delivering care or serving in an administrative capacity. However, there are a number of issues that need to be carefully considered, including how healthcare leaders tackle the ethical concerns and communications with patients."

When it comes to overall adoption and preparedness for the use of AI, the healthcare sector trailed technology, transportation, and financial services and was largely on par with the consumer/retail sector.

In terms of additional survey findings, of those responding:

    --  75% agree that "patient data security/privacy is threatened by AI
    --  68% said employees within their organizations are aware of potential
        biases in AI, regarding gender and race
    --  68% are confident in AI's ability to diagnose patient
    --  59% are concerned about the loss of personal interaction or humanistic
    --  47% are concerned about safety issues, versus the five-industry average
        of 40%
    --  32% cited machine bias as a primary ethical concern about using AI

AI's implications for healthcare jobs

Only 43% of responding business decision leaders said their organizations' employees were prepared for AI adoption, which was tied with the retail/consumer products sector and trailed the other sectors surveyed. Two-thirds of respondents (67%), however, said employees were largely supportive of AI and nearly two-thirds (65%) leaders agree with the statement that "employees at my company are open to the integration of AI."

"The healthcare industry is confronted with an array of technological opportunities that can help providers differentiate themselves in the marketplace," said Vince Vickers, KPMG healthcare technology leader. "AI will be important to health systems as they transform to become more efficient and boost quality. It will also be essential to their success in strengthening collaboration across different care settings, whether that's hospitals, outpatient centers, physicians' offices, home health or providers."

KPMG issued the report Healthcare Insiders: Taking the temperature of artificial intelligence in healthcare, which offers additional insights about the survey data.

About KPMG

KPMG is one of the world's leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world's largest and most prestigious organizations.

KPMG is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Our people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity, and eradicating childhood illiteracy.

KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG International's independent member firms have 219,000 professionals working in 147 countries and territories. Learn more at

Bill Borden
(201) 505-6351
Twitter: @billbordenpr

View original content to download multimedia: