Oncologists say AI will offer benefits, but say it will take time

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Oncologists are optimistic that artificial intelligence will ease administrative tasks while improving care quality and outcomes, according to results of a recent survey.

Findings of the research, by Cardinal Health, have been published in Oncology Insights, a research-based report series analyzing the views of oncologists.

More than half of the 180 oncologists queried for the survey say they believe that AI will drive operational efficiencies in three or more years and nearly half expect AI will lower the cost of care.

AI could play a role in automating administrative tasks to enable the clinicians to focus more time on patients, according to 37 percent of respondents; another 27 percent say they believe that AI could help them identify the best treatment paths to select the right drug the first time.

The surveyed oncologists also recognize the potential of AI to help doctors predict patients most at risk for complications and to aid in enhancing the accuracy of diagnostics.

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For now, it is too early to know the impact these innovations could bring, says Joe DePinto, President at Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. “The findings from our research suggest that oncologists are optimistic about the potential benefits of AI and eager to explore the role that data-driven tools may play in improving care and lowering costs.”

Surveyed oncologists also are looking at other promising innovations but with a cautious eye. For now, some think it is too early to tell if precision medicine will have a long-term impact, but one-third expect a significant impact within three years.

Some 37 percent view precision medicine as potentially game-changing, while 57 percent say it is an important advancement but unknown if it will have staying power, and 6 percent believe it to be unproven now and are waiting to see more clinical evidence.

The oncologists were further surveyed about their impressions of genomic testing. For now, there is very little availability of genomic testing, and turnaround times for the tests vary widely.

Some 58 percent said genomic testing is not available. Another 41 percent said testing is available, with results received within seven to 14 days.

The full report from Cardinal Health is available here.

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