Quantum Readiness in Healthcare and Public Health: Building a Quantum Literate Workforce

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Quantum Readiness in Healthcare and Public Health: Building a Quantum Literate Workforce


Jonathan B VanGeest, Kieran J Fogarty, William G Hervey, Robert A Hanson, Suresh Nair, Timothy A Akers


Quantum technologies, including quantum computing, cryptography, and sensing, among others, are set to revolutionize sectors ranging from materials science to drug discovery. Despite their significant potential, the implications for public health have been largely overlooked, highlighting a critical gap in recognition and preparation. This oversight necessitates immediate action, as public health remains largely unaware of quantum technologies as a tool for advancement. The application of quantum principles to epidemiology and health informatics, termed quantum health epidemiology and quantum health informatics, has the potential to radically transform disease surveillance, prediction, modeling, and analysis of health data. However, there is a notable lack of quantum expertise within the public health workforce and educational pipelines. This gap underscores the urgent need for the development of quantum literacy among public health practitioners, leaders, and students to leverage emerging opportunities while addressing risks and ethical considerations. Innovative teaching methods, such as interactive simulations, games, visual models, and other tailored platforms, offer viable solutions for bridging knowledge gaps without the need for advanced physics or mathematics. However, the opportunity to adapt is fleeting as the quantum era in healthcare looms near. It is imperative that public health urgently focuses on updating its educational approaches, workforce strategies, data governance, and organizational culture to proactively meet the challenges of quantum disruption thereby becoming quantum ready.

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