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Four Ways High-Performance Computing and AI Will Revolutionise Healthcare

As the social value of high-performance computing (HPC) is becoming increasingly obvious, Lenovo has revealed four ways that HPC and Artificial intelligence (AI) are playing an important role in the public health domain, the administration of healthcare, and the clinical setting, particularly when it comes to the automation of diagnosis processes.

Commenting on the trends, Alaa Bawab, Lenovo’s General Manager of Middle East and Africa said, “HPC is a perfect fit for healthcare because of the large data sets generated by public health systems, much of which is in the form of images such as scans. These data sets constitute a vast body of knowledge that has been largely unexplored until now. Most of their value comes from interpretations by experts, which has been done manually and is a hugely limiting factor when it comes to getting value from this data.”

Some ways in which HPC streamlines healthcare processes is by enabling both researchers and clinicians to ask bigger and more complex questions and get the answers much faster.

Why bioinformatics matters
HPC is useful in bioinformatics, which is a multidisciplinary field that integrates the principles of mathematics, statistics, computer science, and biological science. The role of bioinformatics in medical research is to extract knowledge from biomedical data. HPC systems are now evolving to meet bioinformaticians’ needs, with new hardware and software products allowing more sophisticated uses of data.

In life sciences, the time it takes to answer crucial questions is incredibly important. Speed is also imperative when spotting the signs of a new infection in society and stopping it before it spreads widely. The urgent need to create quick answers requires more powerful and sophisticated computing resources.

Understanding our genes
HPC enables us to not only be quick but to also be accurate, allowing us to focus more on individual data. The life sciences industry is shifting from the development of blockbusters, which addresses the needs of the masses, to developing more niche, personalised solutions for patients. That’s the promise of genomics, the study of the genome. Genomics is providing us with a far more detailed understanding of what causes illness and infectious diseases and it’s underpinning the development of innovations that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.

The role of AI
Artificial intelligence will also be important in everything from drug discovery to public health to the clinical setting. Drug manufacturers frequently apply machine learning techniques to extract chemical information from large compound data sets and use this to design new drugs for clinical trials. AI models can be trained to better select study participants with advanced statistical methods and to assess the results of the studies.

In the clinical setting, the potential of AI ranges from the automation of diagnosis processes to therapeutic decision-making and clinical research. AI can also assist in the public health domain as well, in preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health. Another application of AI is in the administration of healthcare. Healthcare systems are characterised by heavy administrative workflow. AI can perform different types of routines related to that administrative effort in a more efficient, accurate, and unbiased fashion.

HPC and AI in healthcare – the future
Looking ahead to the future, society must make it easier for healthcare organisations to use these important tools. Rather than research institutions taking the components and starting from scratch, we need to integrate these tools in a way that makes it easier for organisations in the healthcare space to make the most of them.

HPC can offer answers to many of the greatest problems we face, and combined with AI, can herald a new era of personalised medicine. It is therefore crucial that medical experts have the access they need to these game-changing technologies.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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