Men are much more likely to use a robot doctor or artificial intellligence in healthcare than women

Lynsey Barber
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There's a gender divide when it comes to technology in healthcare (Source: Getty)

They may be notoriously doctor-averse, but men are actually more likely than women to turn to a robot or artificial intelligence for healthcare new research reveals.

Nearly half of men in the UK would be willing to try the technology, such as AI that can answer medical questions or a robot that could perform minor surgery, compared to just under a third of women, according to PwC.

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But, both men and women in the UK are more sceptical than those any other location in Europe, Middle East and Africa; just 39 per cent said they would give it a go, the smallest proportion of 12 countries and compared to 55 per cent across the region.

Patients in Nigeria were found to be the most willing with 94 per cent, followed by 85 per cent in Turkey and 82 per cent in South Africa. Researchers found quite a divide between emerging and developed countries and noted those where healthcare systems are not as established were more flexible and open to the innovations.

However, there remains an opportunity in the UK, with young people also found to be more wiling to use health technology, along with men.

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“While taken at face value it appears UK patients are most sceptical about the use of AI and robotics in healthcare, closer examination reveals a significant potential market," said PwC healthcare partner Brian Pomering.

"The younger the demographic group, the more likely they are to see new health technologies in a positive light. Well over half of 18 to 24 year olds would be willing to engage with AI and robotics to take care of some of their health."

He added: "If only a proportion start to use more services delivered through technology, that could begin to make big savings. This could, in turn, make a serious contribution to addressing the huge financial challenges facing the health system in the UK.”

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