Patient perspectives on data sharing regarding implementing and using artificial intelligence in general practice – a qualitative study

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Background: Due to more elderly and patients with complex illnesses, there is an increasing pressure on the healthcare system. General practice especially feels this pressure as being the first point of contact for the patients. Developments in digitalization have undergone fast progress and data-driven artificial intelligence (AI) has shown great potential for use in general practice. To develop AI as a support tool for general practitioners (GPs), access to patients’ health data is needed, but patients have concerns regarding data sharing. Furthermore, studies show that trust is important regarding the patient-GP relationship, data sharing, and AI. The aim of this paper is to uncover patient perspectives on trust regarding the patient-GP relationship, data sharing and AI in general practice. Method: This study investigated 10 patients’ perspectives through qualitative interviews and written vignettes were chosen to elicit the patients (interviewees) perspectives on topics that they were not familiar with prior to the interviews. The study specifically investigated perspectives on 1) The patient-GP relationship, 2) data sharing regarding developing AI for general practice, and 3) implementation and use of AI in general practice using thematic analysis. The study took place in the North Denmark Region and the interviewees included had to be registered in general practice and be above 18 years in age. We included four men between 25 to 74 years in age and six women between 27 to 46 years in age. Results: The interviewees expressed a high level of trust towards their GP and were willing to share their health data with their GP. The interviewees believed that AI could be a great help to GPs if used as a support tool in general practice. However, it was important for the interviewees that the GP would still be the primary decision maker. Conclusion: Patients may be willing to share health data to help implement and use AI in general practice. If AI is implemented in a way that preserves the patient-GP relationship and used as a support tool for the GP, our results indicate that patients may be positive towards the use of AI in general practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Data sharing
  • General practice
  • Patient perspectives
  • Patient-GP relationship
  • Trust


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