Optum Survey on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health Care

Health care executives increasingly believe in the power of artificial intelligence to help improve patient outcomes, support cost savings in the health system and promote health equity, according to a survey of 500 senior health care executives from leading hospitals, health plans, life sciences companies and employers.

The fourth annual Optum Survey on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health Care found 96% of respondents believe AI plays an important role in their effort to reach health equity goals. In addition, 94% agreed they have a duty within the health care system to ensure AI is used responsibly.

A majority (89%) of health care executives surveyed believe the challenges in using AI in the health care industry require partnering with a health services company with expertise in data and analytics versus a technology-focused company, as the best way to address them.

AI Implementation Continues

With the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, the survey responses point to an industry that remains steadfast in its approach to implementing AI: 85% of health care leaders say they have an AI strategy and 48% have implemented it, continuing the upward trend from 2020’s results where 83% had an AI strategy and 44% had implemented it. Overall, 98% of health care organisations either have a strategy or are planning one.

Easing Administrative Burdens, Focusing on Care

Nearly 3 in 4 health care leaders (72%) said they trust AI to support nonclinical, administrative processes that take away time clinicians could be spending with patients and delivering care. This is unchanged from the 71% who said they trust AI to support administrative tasks in 2020.

Survey respondents also said they are excited about the potential for AI in improving patient outcomes in multiple ways, indicating the top three below:

  • Virtual patient care (41%)
  • Diagnosis and predicting outcomes (40%)
  • Medical image interpretation (36%)

In addition, health care leaders continue to be optimistic that AI technology will create work opportunities (55%) rather than reduce them (45%). This is similar to 2020’s results and up from 52% in 2019.

“The responsible use of AI continues to provide important opportunities for health care leaders to streamline administrative processes and provide more effective patient care with enhanced experiences for both patients and providers,” said Steve Griffiths, senior vice president, data and analytics, Optum Labs, the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group. “These leaders are not just users of AI, but they have an opportunity to be looked to as role models across industries in their commitment to using AI responsibly.”To learn more about the fourth annual Optum Survey on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health Care download the Special Report today.


Optum are at Dublin Tech Summit

Optum is excited to be attending the Dublin Tech Summit this year. As a rapidly growing part of the UnitedHealth Group family of businesses, we’re expanding our operations in Ireland and the UK and creating excellent opportunities for those who want greater purpose and more impact in their work.


About Optum
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 190,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernise the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). For more information, visit www.Optum.com.


About the Survey
The Optum AI Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 Senior Health Care Industry Executives defined as those VP level+ working in the health care industry and includes C-Level titles (CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, CMO), between Aug. 9 and Aug. 23, 2021, using an email invitation and an online survey.