Using a Simulation Centre to Evaluate the Effect of an Artificial Intelligence-Powered Clinical Decision Support System for Depression Treatment on the Physician-Patient Interaction
Objective: Aifred is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered clinical decision support system (CDSS) for the treatment of major depression. Here, we explore use of a simulation centre environment in evaluating the usability of Aifred, particularly its impact on the physician-patient interaction. Methods: Twenty psychiatry and family medicine attending staff and residents were recruited to complete a 2.5-hour study at a clinical interaction simulation centre with standardized patients. Each
... cian had the option of using the CDSS to inform their treatment choice in three 10-minute clinical scenarios with standardized patients portraying mild, moderate, and severe episodes of major depression. Feasibility and acceptability data were collected through self-report questionnaires, scenario observations, interviews, and standardized patient feedback. Results: All twenty participants completed the study. Initial results indicate that the tool was acceptable to clinicians and feasible for use during clinical encounters. Clinicians indicated a willingness to use the tool in real clinical practice, a significant degree of trust in the AI's predictions to assist with treatment selection, and reported that the tool helped increase patient understanding of and trust in treatment. The simulation environment allowed for the evaluation of the tool's impact on the physician-patient interaction. Conclusions: The simulation centre allowed for direct observations of clinician use and impact of the tool on the clinician-patient interaction prior to clinical studies. It may therefore offer a useful and important environment in the early testing of new technological tools. The present results will inform further tool development and clinician training materials.