Understanding Quantum Computing

Conventional computing systems manipulate and store information in bits, which can either take the value of 1 or 0. Think of bits as switches that can be either “on” (1) or “off” (0) at any given time. While we encounter this technology everywhere and understand that it has improved our lives exponentially, this binary way of encoding information has limitations. That’s where quantum computing comes into play.

Quantum computers leverage quantum mechanical phenomena to manipulate information with quantum bits, or qubits, which can be in multiple states (1 and 0) at the same time. Quantum computing enables more powerful calculations.

Improving Health Care

Quantum computing has present-day implications for health care, particularly when it comes to privacy and security of personal health information. It also has tremendous potential when it comes to advancements in the areas of drug design, silico trials (virtually testing new medications and medical devices) and sequencing and analyzing DNA at unprecedented speed.

Quantum computing offers considerable potential for improving health care, but to optimize its benefits, all stakeholders need to prepare for its widespread use. For example, there are several potential approaches under consideration to protect patient data. These include implementing new quantum safe algorithms for encryption and, alternatively, more highly secure quantum key distribution mechanisms for managing network communication.

Approaches to address these challenges are in the early stages of being developed, and Canada has the opportunity to lead the way in building a quantum safe health care environment. Now is the time to understand, invest in and plan for a quantum future.

Innovative Technologies

Learn more about the technologies that are our current areas of focus.

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