BlackBerry, NantHealth team up on healthcare smartphone, mobile platform

BlackBerry and cloud-based medical IT vendor NantHealth are joining forces to develop a mobile version of NantHealth's certified clinical platform as well as a smartphone specifically for the healthcare segment.

BlackBerry is investing in NantHealth, as the two vendor's capabilities align closely, according to BlackBerry CEO and executive chairman John Chen.

"This investment represents the type of forward-looking opportunities that are vital to our future," says Chen in an announcement.

The news comes as mHealth technologies are fast taking root in medical care environments and making inroads everywhere from trauma rooms to admittance offices to post-surgical care. Smartphones are being used for medical examinations and treatment thanks to new apps and equipment add-ons as well as for care delivery at nursing home residents.

According to the announcement, NantHealth's platform, NantHealth Clinical Operating System (cOS), is being used at 250 hospitals and connects more than 160,000 medical devices that are collecting more than three billion vital signs each year. The vendor aims to create a mobile version of its platform that uses real-time machine learning systems. BlackBerry is working on developing a specific smartphone for the healthcare sector.

"BlackBerry's expertise is incredibly valuable to NantHealth as we expand our platform and make it available for wider deployment through a secure mobile device," says Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., NantHealth's founder, in the announcement.

In an interview with Reuters, BlackBerry said it expects to launch the smartphone in early 2015. The device, featuring healthcare-specific features such as optimization for 3D images and CT scans, will also be available to consumers.

NantHealth says BlackBerry's standard for secure communication and collaboration is a perfect fit for its platform needs, especially the mobile environment.

"The future of the healthcare industry requires the ability to share information securely and quickly, whether device-to-device or doctor-to-doctor anywhere and at any time. The potential to integrate BlackBerry's secure mobile communications, along with the company's QNX embedded technology, will put the power of a supercomputer in the palm of the caregiver's hand," said Soon-Shiong.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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