American tech leader, Nvidia, has reportedly unveiled the UK’s most powerful supercomputer, named “Cambridge-1”. The firm hopes that the supercomputer would make prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases faster, better, and cheaper.
Apparently, the computing company has invested more than $100 million towards building the supercomputer. According to reports, the system has been built to capitalize on artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, wherein AI combines computer science with big data to enable problem-solving.
Kimberly Powell, VP of healthcare, Nvidia, compared the shape and size of the computing system with several rows of refrigerators – with each row containing ten refrigerators. It is worth noting that the UK has already made headways with immense databases like the UK Biobank, which is a collection of anonymized medical and lifestyle records of half a million Britons.
According to reliable sources, Cambridge-1 has its first project lined up with GSK, AstraZeneca, King’s College London, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust, and Oxford Nanopore. The project would work on gaining a deeper understanding of diseases like dementia, enhancing the accuracy of identification of disease-causing variants in human genomes, and designing novel drugs.
Dr. Kim Branson, global head of AI and machine learning, GSK, stated that the supercomputer could predominantly help in patient care. Dr. Branson further claimed that the computer could potentially be crucial in fusing different datasets and building massive models for determining the best course of treatment for patients.
However, Roel Bulthuis, head of healthcare at Inkef Capital, a Netherlands-based VC fund active in healthcare, reportedly said that the technology is still in its nascent stage and the hype has not been completely realized. Bulthuis lauded the inclusion of Cambridge-1 in the UK’s ecosystem as not many European healthcare systems are as advanced to utilize data and integrate it into the healthcare system.
AI for healthcare has been booming in the UK with a slew of startups and pharmaceutical giants leveraging the copious amounts of data available to discover potential drugs, determine why some people are more prone to certain diseases, and enhance and customize patient care.
Source credits: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jul/07/uk-supercomputer-cambridge-1-to-hunt-for-medical-breakthroughs