Background: In recent years, innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the development of new healthcare AI (HCAI) technologies. Whilst some of these technologies show promise for improving the patient experience, ethicists have warned that AI can introduce and exacerbate harms and wrongs in healthcare. It is important that HCAI reflects the values that are important to people. However, involving patients and publics in substantive conversations about AI ethics remains challenging due to relatively limited awareness of HCAI technologies. This scoping review aims to map how the existing literature on publics’ attitudes toward HCAI addresses key issues in AI ethics and governance.
Methods: We developed a search query to conduct a comprehensive search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, and Academic Search Complete from January 2010 onwards. We will include primary research studies which document publics’ or patients’ attitudes toward HCAI. A coding framework has been designed and will be used capture qualitative and quantitative data from the articles. Two reviewers will code a proportion of the included articles and any discrepancies will be discussed amongst the team, with changes made to the coding framework accordingly. Final results will be reported quantitatively and qualitatively, examining how each AI ethics issue has been addressed by the included studies.
Discussion: If HCAI is to be implemented ethically and legitimately, publics and patients must be included in important conversations about HCAI ethics. This review will explore how ethical issues are addressed in literature examining publics and patients’ attitudes toward HCAI. We aim to describe how publics and patients have been successfully consulted on HCAI ethics, and to identify any areas of HCAI ethics where more work is needed to include publics and patients in research and discussions.