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Supercomputing saves lives

4 min read
Can a supercomputer help cure cancer? Could high-performance computing (HPC) cut years of research in the drug discovery process? What if those years amount to the difference between life and death for patients around the world?

Computer scientists, chemists, and physicians at a prestigious Massachusetts university are developing bespoke treatments for cancer and a myriad of other diseases with the help of Lenovo’s state-of-the-art Cannon supercomputer.

The average life expectancy in most countries is rising. But as a result, our medical needs are becoming more complex—and there’s pressure on global healthcare to keep pace.


HPC helps improve and accelerate the diagnosis of disease and even helps identify the best care pathways. For example, machine learning systems enabled by HPC, can be trained to identify anomalies within images, such as patient scans, through comparisons with wider datasets.


Researchers at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) are investigating the applications of this technology by helping ophthalmologists to detect retinal diseases more quickly. The researchers used analytical models to process scans of patients’ eyes through the center's HPC cluster. As HPC evolves further, the degree of granularity will increase, facilitating even more accurate image recognition and opening up brand-new disease areas for diagnosis.


This technology has many other applications too, including modelling exactly how the human brain works, like a project at Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) in Germany. There, they are trying to solve one of biology’s greatest mysteries—how the human brain creates consciousness. And as analytics advance, HPC can become a vital tool for healthcare worldwide, even as our needs become more complex.


Breakthroughs in computing systems have made it possible to tackle immense obstacles — from Dallara’s obsession with innovative and safe racecars, to oil field exploration, to financial risk assessment, to genome mapping at the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, to predicting weather patterns that protect coastal communities at North Carolina State University. Advancements in HPC have propelled our understanding of the world and universe at an exponential rate.

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As a global leader in HPC, Lenovo is working closely with key industry partners to develop, integrate, and deploy the technologies that deliver exascale-level computing to organizations of all sizes, or what Lenovo refers to as Exascale to Everyscale™. Lenovo’s award-winning HPC solutions are helping researchers across the globe push the boundaries of what is possible and tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. 


Explore the interesting applications of HPC through the lens of these Lenovo customer case studies:


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Accelerating groundbreaking multi-omics research

How Barcelona Supercomputing Center selected Lenovo’s Genomics Optimization and Scalability Tool running on a Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 server, to evolve its multi omics research capabilities, marking a new chapter of pioneering research.

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Enhancing the safety of air travel with AI-powered defenses against birdstrikes

To help rapidly deploy its automated anti-birdstrike solution, The Edge Company used Lenovo AI ThinkSystem SR650 to create a high-performance appliance—enabling airports around the world to protect their airspace cost-effectively while ensuring the highest level of safety for the traveling public.

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Accelerating analysis of satellite data to support flood warning systems and save lives

How Earth Observation Data Centre (EODC) uses Lenovo ThinkSystem SR635 servers, to provide near real-time flood monitoring.

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