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How can Quantum Computing play a role in Healthcare

January 1, 2021 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team


Technology is here, and Healthcare is a sector that holds a lot of potentials to integrate Quantum Computing. Quantum Computing is not just a thing of science now. The Healthcare industry is adopting the use of quantum computing to support patient-centric care.

As we begin to enter an age of personalized healthcare, dependent on wearables and the need to take a huge amount of data and process it in format for clinical use will become urgent. Quantum computing can be a great tool to achieve this.

What is Quantum Computing?

The computers that we use today process information using a series of 0's and 1's or "bits". A quantum computer takes the advantage of usual observation in quantum physics. A single bit can be both a '1' and a '0' at the same time - also known as a quantum bit or 'qubit'. It is the only known technology that can be exponentially faster than classical computers for certain tasks, potentially reducing calculation times from years to minutes. Quantum computing is a revolutionary concept in digital data processing based on the universal principle by which nature operates i.e quantum physics.

Quantum Computing in Healthcare

Quantum's ability to compute at scale will enable clinicians to incorporate a huge number of cross-functional data sets into their patient's risk factor. Also, quantum computing will allow us to select clinical trial participants using more reference points, ensuring a better fit between protocol and patient.

With accuracy and speed of diagnosis and treatment becoming a necessity for giving quality care. Quantum computing holds the potential for unprecedented processing power and speed. Doctors can find correlations and provide diagnosis or treatment by using quantum computing. Quantum computing with its intelligence, could entirely change modern healthcare. The technology could rapidly identify patterns in healthcare data collected from millions of patients - in a fraction of the time.

Advantages Quantum Computing offers to the Healthcare Sector

As discussed above, the possibilities of quantum computing are endless. Here we are going to cover areas of the healthcare sector where quantum computing has or will have a direct impact.

  • Improved Imaging Solutions

    Quantum imaging machines can produce extremely accurate imaging that allows visualization of single molecules. Machine learning algorithms and quantum computing together can help a physician in evaluating the results of treatment. The old MRIs can recognize areas of light and dark, and the radiologist must have to evaluate the issues. But, quantum imaging solutions can distinguish between tissue types, which allows more accurate and precise imaging.

  • Diagnosis

    When it comes to disease diagnosis and monitoring, quantum computing is not far behind. Cancer patients usually undergo chemotherapy and do not know if the treatment works or not for months. However, thanks to advancements in quantum computing, that is changing. Quantum computing will enable doctors to compare much, much more data in parallel, simultaneously, and all permutations of that data, to find the best patterns that describe it.

  • Data Management

    The quantum computer promotes a key aspect for the health sciences - artificial intelligence. Among its applications, we find big data applied to AI and quantum computing. This cutting-edge technology provides the ability to record, sort, and analyze massive amounts of complex data and find patterns in them. This usefulness in health is invaluable and Quantum Computing can help streamline many health processes.

  • Improved Radiation Therapy

    Radiation beams are used to destroy or stop the multiplication of affected cells completely. Reducing damage to the surrounding cells is a major challenge of radiation therapy. Arriving at an optimal radiation therapy plan needs numerous simulations before an optimal plan is determined. With quantum computers, the possibilities that can be considered for each simulation can be found easily and quickly. It will allow physicians to determine the best therapy and plan faster.

  • Protein Folding

    Proteins are basic building blocks of life. The malfunction of a given protein is frequently due to its being wrongly folded. Getting more detailed knowledge of the way proteins are folded can help lead to the development of new therapies and medicines. A quantum computer will in theory be able to simultaneously test a huge number of possible protein fold structures and recognize the most promising ones.

Summary

Quantum computing may provide life-saving applications we have never seen before. We need to keep a close eye on quantum technology and its application in health care. If universal quantum computers can be used in research and advancement in healthcare in the future, they would probably reform entire development processes. Complex biochemical reactions can be efficiently simulated and reagents can be specifically developed.

Precision medicine, where one tries to combine a wide variety of patient information to make the correct diagnosis and to make exactly the right therapy recommendations for the patient, could get a huge boost by using Quantum Computing in the coming years.

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