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Press release

New report finds doctors and nurses ready to embrace generative AI to answer the pressure points facing global health systems

New York | 7 September 2023

Elsevier Health’s landmark Clinician of the Future 2023 report highlights new opportunities technology will play in providing relief for healthcare workers and geographical differences in opinion

Today, Elsevier Health, a global leader in information and data analytics, released its Clinician of the Future 2023 reportopens in new tab/window, which serves as the global health ecosystem’s most recent pulse on what doctors and nurses think about the changes and challenges in healthcare, including the rapid rise of generative AI products and platforms. The report finds that almost half of all doctors and nurses are eager for physicians to utilize this innovative technology in the future to support their clinical decision-making, further affirming the need to drive a technological shift in healthcare.

The current study comes one year after the launch of the inaugural Clinician of the Future report, which provided a voice for clinicians and a mandate for change to help future-proof the global health industry. This new report champions the experiences and views of 2,607 doctors and nurses worldwide, underscoring the gravity of healthcare workforce challenges highlighted in the original survey, but now putting an additional lens on the future role of generative AI technologies across global healthcare.

Participants across both Clinician of the Future reports spotlight concerns around overwhelming resource issues for healthcare systems worldwide, even as they face substantial treatment backlogs. Clinician shortages remain the top concern in North America and Europe. 54% of clinicians surveyed for the 2023 report still identify nurse shortages as a pressing health priority. Interestingly, 45% similarly reported the need to tackle doctor shortages. This reinforces the urgent need for innovative solutions, such as generative AI, to address clinician shortages, as well as identify opportunities for efficiencies and training to both enhance clinical readiness and provide much needed clinician support.

Jan Herzhoff, President of Elsevier Health said, “As healthcare systems continue to face significant challenges, we must raise the voices of doctors and nurses worldwide to understand how we can best support them and the patients they care for. In this pursuit, advanced technology combined with trusted medical content emerges as a powerful ally, and generative AI, particularly, shows immense promise in helping clinicians.”

Mr. Herzhoff added: “By equipping clinicians with advanced tools and training to support their clinical decision-making, doctors and nurses will be empowered to allocate more time to the human aspect of patient care.”

The Clinician of the Future 2023 report also identifies key insights into clinician attitudes towards technology as an enabler to help deliver efficient patient care and better prepare future doctors and nurses.

  • Physicians see themselves as needing to be experts in the use of digital health technologies, with 73% of clinicians agreeing this skill will be desirable in the next 2-3 years.

  • While only 11% of today’s clinical decisions are assisted by generative AI tools, 48% of respondents say that physicians using generative AI tools to help make clinical decisions will be desirable in 2-3 years’ time.

  • China emerges as more optimistic about generative AI adoption, with 53% of clinicians expressing physician use of generative AI technologies in the next 2-3 years is desirable compared to those from the US (42%) and the UK (34%).

  • Clinicians expect to have fewer interactions in person by 2028 than they do today, with 55% finding it desirable for telehealth to be the main mechanism for routine check-ups in 2-3 years’ time.

  • Over half (51%) of clinicians welcome the prospect of medical students using generative AI-powered tools as part of their medical education in the next 2-3 years.

  • Clinicians from the UK and the US are more reserved about generative AI technologies supporting medical students, as only 33% in the UK and 40% in the US find this desirable.

As global healthcare systems progress towards a more digital-first approach, the findings in the Clinician of the Future 2023 report demonstrate that the workforce not only recognizes the potential new technologies like generative AI provide to innovate global healthcare but also how they can help improve patient care today and in the future.

Josh Schoeller, President, Global Clinical Solutions at Elsevier and CEO, Healthcare at LexisNexis Risk Solutions said, "Elsevier is renowned for powerful point-of-care solutions that support clinicians throughout their workday. We have been at the forefront of developing clinical solutions tools, prioritizing the responsible use of AI, while anticipating and staying ahead of the latest technology trends. We are deeply committed to listening to the needs of clinicians so we can continuously enhance our products to create efficiencies, enabling clinicians to prioritize delivering life-saving care."

For the full Clinician of the Future 2023 report, which includes robust data on global attitudes on the future of healthcare, important insights on training and development and more, click hereopens in new tab/window.

For more information on the technologies Elsevier Health creates in partnership with clinicians, visit: www.elsevier.com/clinician-of-the-future.

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Notes for editors

Research Methodology

  • Focus of survey: Attitudes and perceptions among healthcare professionals, to uncover the paradigm shifts expected to have maximum impact on the way healthcare is delivered in the future.

  • Who we surveyed: Respondents are a sample of Clinicians (Physicians and Nurses) from a variety of sources, and from a panel provider. 

  • How many: We achieved 2,607 completed surveys from a range of disciplines and geographies. Please refer to the appendix for a more detailed breakdown.

  • When: Fieldwork conducted in April and May 2023.

  • Results: Results weighted based on OECD statistics data by region, and to equally represent doctors and nurses in the Clinician totals.

About Elsevier Health

For more than 140 years, Elsevier has supported the work of researchers and healthcare professionals by providing current, evidence–based information, that can help empower students and clinicians to provide the best healthcare possible. Growing from our roots, Elsevier Health applies innovation, facilitates insights, and helps drive more informed decision-making for our customers across global health. We support health providers by providing accessible, trusted evidence-based information to take on the infodemic; prepare more future health professionals with effective tools and resources; provide insights that help clinicians improve patient outcomes; deliver healthcare that is truly inclusive; and supports a more personalized and localized healthcare experience.

Diversity and inclusion are the foundation of our innovation, and our teams are committed to creating education and practice solutions that reflect the diversity of our world. Elsevier is helping lay the groundwork for more equitable healthcare worldwide; We bring the same rigor to our digital information solutions as we do to our publishing, allowing us to offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help our users make breakthroughs and drive progress for the benefit of every patient.

About Elsevier

As a global leader in scientific information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making with innovative solutions based on trusted, evidence-based content and advanced AI-enabled digital technologies.

We have supported the work of our research and healthcare communities for more than 140 years. Our 9,500 employees around the world, including 2,500 technologists, are dedicated to supporting researchers, librarians, academic leaders, funders, governments, R&D-intensive companies, doctors, nurses, future healthcare professionals and educators in their critical work. Our 2,900 scientific journals and iconic reference books include the foremost titles in their fields, including Cell Press, The Lancet and Gray’s Anatomy.

Together with the Elsevier Foundationopens in new tab/window, we work in partnership with the communities we serve to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world.

Elsevier is part of RELXopens in new tab/window, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information on our work, digital solutions and content, visit www.elsevier.com.

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