Why Cleveland Clinic sees quantum computing as the 'next frontier'

Cleveland Clinic is accelerating its pace with quantum computing as it looks to explore how quantum computing can optimize healthcare's complex systems and drug discovery as well as see if it can provide more accuracy than AI models. 

In March, Cleveland Clinic teamed up with IBM to become one of the first health systems in the world to install a quantum computer that would be strictly focused on healthcare research. The combined team has launched more than 30 projects together centered around quantum computing.

Cleveland Clinic is also building an ecosystem of research around quantum computing. Most recently, the health system received two contracts through Wellcome Leap's Quantum for Bio Challenge, which will allocate a sum of up to $40 million to a global cohort of 12 researchers who are dedicated to advancing quantum computing applications in healthcare. 

In its second project, IBM Quantum, Cleveland Clinic and Algorithmiq will join forces to develop computational tools to investigate the potential of quantum computing in cancer drug development. 

Cleveland Clinic also introduced the Quantum Innovation Catalyzer Program, an initiative designed to foster competition among startup companies interested in investigating quantum computing's potential applications in healthcare and life sciences.

Cleveland Clinic will choose up to four life sciences and healthcare technology companies in their early and growth stages via an application process to undergo a 24-week immersive program. 

Lara Jehi, MD, chief research information officer of Cleveland Clinic, told Becker's that the health system sees great opportunity for quantum computing when it comes to developing drugs, drug discovery, as well as going through data quickly.

"In healthcare, we have many complex systems, such as supply chains, that we need to optimize," she said. "Right now, a lot of optimization in healthcare is relying heavily on AI, but quantum could be the next frontier that could accomplish this better than AI."

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