IBM announced on Tuesday (30) the installation of a quantum computer for the first time outside its laboratories. The client is the Cleveland Clinic, in the city of the same name in the USA, which has been a partner for more than 10 years of the century-old technology company, using hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services.
According to the director of IBM Quantum Network, dr. Anthony J. Annunziata, the physical inclusion of a quantum computer as part of a customer’s toolkit is a critical time for the venture because the manufacturer needs to understand which tasks are most suitable for quantum calculations.
For him, although this technology is still in its initial phase, it is possible that it will be useful in everyday tasks. For this reason, the Cleveland Clinic will receive a fully customized quantum system that will gradually be integrated into the existing infrastructure. The advantage, says Annunziata, is to discover “how Quantum can solve these really difficult problems and also how to accelerate the application of AI”.
Quantum computing in healthcare
Unlike traditional computers, which store bits of information in binary language, quantum machines use concepts from this theory to boost processing power. Its basic unit, the qubit, or quantum bit, also works with the values 0 and 1, however the information is not exclusive, forming an overlap with multiple possibilities.
In this way, qubits can be interconnected through a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement. In practice, this represents the execution of more than a billion simultaneous copies of a calculation.
In the health area, the new computer, already called the Discovery Accelerator, aims to boost clinical advances in the life sciences. IBM tools will explore the clinic’s wealth of data, including “genomics, single cell transcriptomics, population health, clinical applications and chemical and drug discovery,” says a press release