The Disruptive Power of Quantum Computing in Precision Medicine

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colorful closeup of a computer processor

Market Growth 

The Global Quantum and Precision Medicine markets are estimated to grow at impressive rates over the next decade. According to a recent report published in April 2020 it is estimated that the market value for quantum computing would reach $64.9B and for precision medicine $84B. Experts also predict their growth at 10% CAGR for quantum and precision medicine at 56.0% CAGR.  

Quantum

The quantum computing industry has experienced tremendous advances and has moved from experimental to enterprise business deployment in select industries. Some of the industries with active use cases are energy, life sciences, insurance and fintech. Quantum Computingis based on physics and derived from principles of quantum theory. The two key features are superposition and entanglement, which allow quantum operations to occur at exponential speeds and with lower energy consumption. There continue to be a few barriers that impede adoption across all industries, however experts are actively working on overcoming them. 

The key challenges identified by experts fall within these 3 domains: material science, engineering, and quality control. The undeniable advantages of quantum are superior computing power and speed, which are essential in managing simulation for predictions for extremely large data sets that are characterized by a high degree of variability. The scientific community is working on enhancements of the computing hardware, algorithm accuracy and cryptography, which would further expand the applicability of quantum sciences. 

Another aspect to consider in evaluating the impact of quantum computing is the opportunity to combine quantum with edge and bio computing, as well as deploy it in combination with the full arsenal of artificial intelligence tools. 

If we also consider the scalability and interoperability that could be derived from the rapidly evolving Internet of Things, the possibilities of leveraging quantum become extraordinary and categorized by many as futuristic.  

Precision Medicine 

Precision medicine is a relatively novel approach that aims to redefine the way we diagnose, treat and prevent disease. It has also evolved at an exponential pace over the last few years and fueled the development of person-centered medicine. This growth has been powered by several complex factors. Some of the main ones are advances in technology, increased aging population with a higher incidence of cancers, a higher market demand, increased use of big data, as well as scientific knowledge derived from panomics.

Panomics is currently considered one of the major drivers of innovation in healthcare and encompasses genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics etc. Given the recent trend towards a consumer-driven healthcare industry with emphasis on population health, the scientific insights gained from this systems-based approach have now transitioned from the lab to mainstream publications and are strong market drivers. 

Genomics is one of the most significant precision medicine drivers and is considered by many experts as the one with most disruptive potential in healthcare. The cost for next generation sequencing techniques has decreased from 100000 to less than 1000 over the span of few years, while speed and accuracy have increased. So why and how are the next generation sequencing mechanisms  

Synergy 

So why is the combined application of these novel technologies so beneficial to science and how can they impact on global health? There are a few domains that clearly illustrate the hybrid power of quantum and precision medicine:  

  • New personalized drug, device or therapy development 
  • Advanced clinical decision support systems 
  • Insilico clinical trials based on specific genomic profiles 
  • Predictive health optimization based on population genomics 

Quantum computing uses a unique methodology based on quantum physics that is fundamentally different from traditional computation methodologies and stores information in qubits. This computational technique allows for a significantly higher speed, as well as an ability to develop optimal network topologies and hyper parameters that are uniquely suited for the complexity of simulations and modeling required for precision medicine. 

The size of data generated within the life sciences industry has exponentially increased over the last few years. It is estimated that globally the healthcare and life-sciences datasets have likely reached the thousand exabytes range and to process them to derive novel precision medicine insights requires a quantum approach. Genomics is one of the sciences generating the highest volumes, as even one single human genome requires 800 megabytes for storage of the 3.2 Billion DNA base pairs. 

Quantum-powered genomics is one of the prime candidates with transformative potential for global population health due to the variety of scientific and business insights that can be derived. By applying quantum computing at a large scale to all existing global healthcare and life- sciences datasets we could unlock the full potential of these modern tools and redefine global health. 

Future

In addition to computing optimization, researchers are also working on designing and developing quantum sensors and quantum communications which can facilitate building of a quantum ecosystem. Additionally, there is a race to design customized quantum cybersecurity methods and data governance mechanisms can mitigate or prevent malicious intent. 

For precision medicine innovation the future also looks brighter than ever. Over the past few years, we have witnessed an increased in personalized medicine apps or medical devices, new gene therapies, new personalized medications developed for congenital disorders or for autoimmune diseases. 

By further optimizing panomics capabilities we will hopefully be able to accelerate our ability to safely intervene early and prevent disease from even occurring or mitigating severity of disease. By enhancing our understanding of immunity and continue to push our expertise in antigen mapping or cell receptor sequencing we will hopefully also able to transform management of cancers. 

Only through continuous innovation, transformation and an exponential thinking approach can these technologies be a catalyst for disrupting the current healthcare ecosystem. By leveraging the full power of quantum and precision medicine solutions we can facilitate the development of a new state of the art global research, medical and epidemiology ecosystem – a Quantum-powered precision medicine impact on global health and wellness.

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