Parental Perceptions on Use of Artificial Intelligence in Pediatric Acute Care

Sriram Ramgopal*, Marie E. Heffernan, Anne Bendelow, Matthew M. Davis, Michael S. Carroll, Todd A. Florin, Elizabeth R. Alpern, Michelle L. Macy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Family engagement is critical in the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI)-based clinical decision support tools, which will play an increasing role in health care in the future. We sought to understand parental perceptions of computer-assisted health care of children in the emergency department (ED). Methods: We conducted a population-weighted household panel survey of parents with minor children in their home in a large US city to evaluate perceptions of the use of computer programs for the care of children with respiratory illness. We identified demographics associated with discomfort with AI using survey-weighted logistic regression. Results: Surveys were completed by 1620 parents (panel response rate = 49.7%). Most respondents were comfortable with the use of computer programs to determine the need for antibiotics (77.6%) or bloodwork (76.5%), and to interpret radiographs (77.5%). In multivariable analysis, Black non-Hispanic parents reported greater discomfort with AI relative to White non-Hispanic parents (odds ratio [OR] 1.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–2.70) as did younger parents (18–25 years) relative to parents ≥46 years (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.31–4.67). The greatest perceived benefits of computer programs were finding something a human would miss (64.2%, 95% CI 60.9%–67.4%) and obtaining a more rapid diagnosis (59.6%; 56.2%–62.9%). Areas of greatest concern were diagnostic errors (63.0%, 95% CI 59.6%–66.4%), and recommending incorrect treatment (58.9%, 95% CI 55.5%–62.3%). Conclusions: Parents were generally receptive to computer-assisted management of children with respiratory illnesses in the ED, though reservations emerged. Black non-Hispanic and younger parents were more likely to express discomfort about AI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • artificial intelligence
  • clinical decision support
  • emergency care
  • pediatrics
  • stakeholder engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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