06 March 2023
Women in the US are turning to AI symptom checkers in a bid to save money on rising medical bills, a new survey has found.
A Healthily poll of 1,500 women aged 25-55 found a keen appetite for using AI symptom checkers, with 32% saying they would use one to get health information. And 43% said their main reason for using a symptom checker would be to save money.
Women aged 30-40 were the most tech-savvy, with 35% saying they would use a symptom checker other than their doctor to help get information about their health.
However, the role of doctors was still very much valued, with 8 out of 10 women (79%) saying they agreed or strongly agreed that AI symptom checkers work best when supported by real-life doctors.
“The rising cost of living – particularly in the costs of medical care in the US – is probably one of the drivers of symptom checker use,” says Professor Maureen Baker, Healthily Chief Medical Officer.
“Women want to use symptom checkers, but they also want information backed by the expertise of real-life doctors for added reassurance. This is exactly what the Healthily Smart Symptom Checker offers – the best of both worlds.”
As well as creating medically verified content, Healthily has spent 7 years and invested $40m in best-in-class artificial intelligence, developing a Smart Symptom Checker (SSC) that’s a Class 1 medical device self-certified with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
When asked what a symptom checker could help with, 60% of the women surveyed said it could be useful for deciding whether to see a doctor or pharmacist. Plus, 48% said it could help them prevent and detect health problems, while 47% said it could help them with early/at-home treatments of a problem.
Women said they’d trust a symptom checker for a wide range of health problems, including:
“Health technology is progressing at a rapid speed, and we have seen that over the past few months with all the hype around ChatGPT,“ says Professor Baker.
“Only 5 years ago, AI still had a sci-fi-type image, and we would have probably found a lot more resistance to – and skepticism about – the tech we’re using now.”
Professor Baker also observes that people use mobile devices to plan every other aspect of their lives. “If you can find a trusted and reliable source of health information you can use via a symptom checker, why wouldn’t you give it a try?
“And if that source could help you work out what conditions might be most likely, and if you could save money by using self-care or a pharmacy visit to deal with your issue, that could help even more.”
For more information or an interview with Professor Baker, contact Mars Webb at email@example.com or Fiona Bugler at the Healthily Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Survey results from Attest