How Anthem is using IBM's quantum computing to drive digital transformation: 5 things to know

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IBM launched the IBM Quantum Network in 2017 with 12 organizations; now, its program has grown to more than 150 Fortune 500 companies. One of those companies is insurance giant Anthem, according to an Aug. 31 report by TechRepublic.

Healthcare companies like Anthem are using quantum computing for "computationally intense and expensive tasks, such as identifying anomalies, where there's tons of data and interactions," said John Utz, staff vice president of digital product management at Anthem.

Five things to know:

  1. Quantum computers are better than traditional computers at identifying anomalies and other computationally intensive tasks, and Anthem is running several models on IBM's quantum cloud, Mr. Utz said.

  2. The company is building a road map around how Anthem wants to deliver its platform using quantum technology. Mr. Utz said he can't say "quantum is ready for primetime yet. The plan is to get there over the next year or so and have something working in production."

  3. Quantum computers are better than traditional computers at detecting fraud because traditional computers tap out at some point, unable to get to the same place as quantum computers, Mr. Utz said.

  4. Anthem is also using quantum computing in longitudinal population health modeling. As the payer looks to expand its digital platform for health, it faces challenges with the "almost infinite number of relationships," Mr. Utz said. This includes different health conditions, providers patients see for care, patient outcomes and figuring out where there are outliers.

  5. "There's only so much a classical system can do there, so we're looking for more opportunities to improve healthcare for our members and the population at large," Mr. Utz said. Quantum computers are better at driving outcomes from the models Anthem is building and predicting risk, Mr. Utz said.

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