Quantum computing as a healthcare tool

The Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub is working to develop quantum computers that could have major impact upon the healthcare sector. 

Just over 50 years since the release of the first commercial microprocessor, computing is about to take another important step. In the UK’s Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub, a collaboration between 17 universities, researchers are working to develop quantum computers that will revolutionise every aspect of our lives.

While the technologies being worked on now are very much in their infancy it is already possible to imagine some of the advances fully-fledged quantum computers may bring to healthcare in the future.

One exciting area in which quantum computing may make advances is the development of new drugs. While existing digital computers make valiant attempts to mimic the complex processes we find in nature, the advanced simulations required to understand how compounds interact at a molecular level are beyond their reach.  Quantum computing and simulation potentially offer the tools to make massive breakthroughs in this field.

The potential of quantum computing also extends beyond discovering new drugs. The vast processing power these new machines are expected to offer may eventually even give us the chance to manage our health at a personal level, providing treatments tailored to an individual based on genetic and environmental factors, alongside more traditional measurements. While these possibilities are some way off, the work taking place in the UK now to develop quantum computers is the first step towards this exciting future.