Health care company Anthem joins NC State’s IBM Q Hub

The workings of part of a quantum computer.

Anthem, Inc., a leading health benefits company, is the second founding member to join the IBM Q Hub at NC State University, where it will explore how quantum computing may further enhance the consumer health care experience.

Last year NC State became the first university in North America to establish an IBM Q Hub as part of the global IBM Q Network, a collaboration between IBM and Fortune 500 companies, national research labs, startups, and leading universities to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for science and business. Hubs have a unique role within the network, focused on accelerating industry collaborations, learning, skill development and implementation of quantum computing.

“NC State is excited to collaborate with Anthem and IBM in this initiative,” said executive director Daniel Stancil. “Our quantum computing researchers and students will work with them to identify opportunities for development and implementation in the health benefits arena.”

Through NC State’s IBM Q Hub, Anthem will have access to the world’s largest fleet of quantum computing systems for commercial use cases and fundamental research. This includes the recently announced 53-qubit quantum computer, which is the single largest universal quantum system made available for external access in the industry to date.

“We know that we have to take innovative approaches to developing services and solutions that address the challenges facing health care and improve consumers’ experiences,” said Rajeev Ronanki, Anthem’s chief digital officer. “With exponential increases in computing capacity, quantum computing has the potential to help individuals lead healthier lives in a number of ways, such as helping in the development of more accurate and personalized treatment options and improving the prediction of health conditions in real time.”

More than one in eight Americans receive coverage for their medical care through Anthem’s affiliated plans, and the company brings its decades-long expertise in working with health care data to the Q Network.

Quantum computing has the potential to analyze data significantly faster than classical computing and perform certain types of analysis that are not possible with today’s classical computers – while also enhancing privacy and security.

“Anthem joining the Hub at NC State is a great example of the potential for quantum computing to make an impact on the consumer health care experience,” said Jamie Thomas, general manager of strategy and development at IBM Systems. “For NC State, Anthem joining their IBM Q Hub is a necessary component to solving concrete problems and increasing the general maturation of quantum computing in regions across the country.”

This post was originally published in NC State News.