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Quantum computing is a term stemming from quantum physics, the science explaining that particles can operate in two states simultaneously. It involves technology that can address problems with numerous factors and possible outcomes far more quickly than a regular computer. Comparisons of quantum computers vs. classical computers involve processing a daunting number of variables and potential outcomes more quickly than traditional computers. This technology’s distinguishing factor is its ability to simultaneously process multiple, mutually dependent data sources, such as clinical, social, economic, and environmental information. It is also being used to answer questions that involve complex analyses such as simulations or optimizations. From a technological perspective, the distinguishing technology in quantum computing is a form of transistor known as the quantum bit, also known as the qubit, which can create multiple computing realities simultaneously. (CB Insights, 2021).
Quantum Computing in Healthcare
Quantum computing can benefit healthcare stakeholders by accelerating diagnoses, personalizing medicine, and optimizing pricing. It can be beneficial in:
- Diagnostics: it facilitates early, accurate, and efficient computing of probable diagnoses and treatment outcomes.
- Precision: personalized interventions and treatments are identified for optimal health and disease management.
- Pricing: it can help to optimize insurance premiums and pricing and billing.
More generally, it can speed the discovery of new treatments, creating greater effectiveness for manufacturers and greater efficiency for payers and healthcare providers. See IBM’s Quantum Computing in Healthcare.
Examples of Quantum Computing
Questions such as why one geographic community tends to give rise to one disease state over another community have previously been impossible to answer. Quantum computing can process information related to genetic influences of subgroups of people as they respond to treatment protocols, including medications. It can factor in dietary and social norms, cultural influences, socioeconomic level, and local influences such as pollutants from the water, air, and local agriculture. Quantum computing in healthcare can also enhance diagnostic imaging quality, analysis, and process, advance precision medicine; improve cost of services, and improve risk analysis.
Another healthcare area that can benefit from quantum computing is cybersecurity technology, which could eventually be replaced. It can break cryptography techniques, such as RSA encryption, which is often used to maintain the security of sensitive data and electronic communications. It addresses previously unsolvable cybersecurity problems.
Despite being in its infancy in the healthcare industry, quantum computing’s ability to more closely mimic the complexities of the natural world is promising.
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