US healthcare provider Cleveland Clinic has launched an on-premise quantum computer from IBM in Cleveland, Ohio.

First announced in March 2021, with installation beginning in October 2022, IBM this week officially unveiled the first deployment of an on-site private sector IBM-managed Quantum System One (QSU) in the United States at the Lerner Research Institute.

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– Cleveland Clinin

"This is a pivotal milestone in our innovative partnership with IBM, as we explore new ways to apply the power of quantum computing to healthcare," said Tom Mihaljevic, Cleveland Clinic CEO and president, and Morton L. Mandel, Cleveland Clinic CEO chair.

"This technology holds tremendous promise in revolutionizing healthcare and expediting progress toward new cares, cures, and solutions for patients. Quantum and other advanced computing technologies will help researchers tackle historic scientific bottlenecks and potentially find new treatments for patients with diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes."

First announced in 2019, the System One is enclosed in a nine-foot sealed cube, made of half-inch thick borosilicate glass. Cleveland Clinic will also be home to the world’s first on-premise Q System Two – IBM’s ‘next generation 1,000+ qubit' system – in the future, though the company declined to provide DCD with further details.

"With the unveiling of IBM Quantum System One at Cleveland Clinic, their team of world-class researchers can now explore and uncover new scientific advancements in biomedical research," said Arvind Krishna, IBM chairman, and CEO. "By combining the power of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and other next-generation technologies with Cleveland Clinic's world-renowned leadership in healthcare and life sciences, we hope to ignite a new era of accelerated discovery."

Though Cleveland Clinic operates a 3MW, 263,000 sq ft data center in Brecksville, to the south of the city, the IBM Quantum System One has been deployed at the company’s main campus in Cleveland.

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“The Clinic has a sophisticated technical infrastructure, so there was no technical obstacle to installing the IBM Quantum System One there,” Jerry Chow, IBM fellow and director of quantum infrastructure research, told DCD. “The Clinic also wants the System to be visible to both researchers and patients as a symbol of their commitment to innovation for patient care, so it made sense to install the system on-site.”

IBM told DCD the deployed system utilizes the company’s latest 127-qubit IBM Eagle processor, but didn’t provide details about power requirements.

Chow said the company has deployed multiple QSUs to date, so the process of installation at the clinic's site was ‘pretty smooth’ and delivered on schedule.

“The main pieces of work in any installation are always setting up the dilution refrigerator and the room temperature electronics. That was the case here as well.”

Cleveland Clinic is using quantum computing to better screen and optimize drugs targeted to specific proteins; improve prediction models for cardiovascular risk following non-cardiac surgery; and search genome sequencing findings and large drug-target databases to find existing drugs that could help patients with Alzheimer's and other diseases.

“Having this technology on-site paired with IBM teams and scientists will allow both organizations to work closely together and truly move medicine forward,” Lara Jehi, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s chief research information officer, previously told DCD. “The on-premise system provides us with a chance to be leaders, creators, and developers with IBM.”

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