How Quantum Computing can Advance Medical Research

A new quantum computer was just installed at Cleveland Clinic. Experts explains how the technology could help advance medical research.

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CLEVELAND – Medical research plays a critical role in healthcare, helping with the discovery and development of treatments for many different diseases and cancers.

And now, that research could be happening faster with the use of quantum computing.

“I think a lot of our investigators are rather excited about the opportunity to be able to do what they do, faster,” said Ahmet Ardemir, PhD, scientist for Cleveland Clinic. “But more importantly, the opportunity to do things that they may not have thought that they would be able to do.”  

An IBM quantum computer was just installed at Cleveland Clinic. 

It’s the first in the world focused on medical research.

Doctors say it will allow them to not only analyze data in news ways, but will also potentially advance patient care.

More specifically, researchers plan to use the technology to speed up the discovery of new medicines and treatment.

Erdemir said he’s looking forward to using the quantum computer and hopes the public understands what a big deal this is for healthcare, especially in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“I think we knew this before, but COVID actually showed the world that, ‘Hey, we need to find this solution fast.’ It needs to be accurate and it needs to be translated fast, and that really demonstrated that we’re struggling,” he said. “And that’s why that really justifies, in my mind, why we should have discovery accelerators.”  

Researchers said the quantum computer could also help speed up access to new medications.

Right now, it can take more than 15 years for a drug to go from an idea to being available to the public.

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