BlackBerry to debut genome browser for health data reporting

Doctors will soon be able to access and tap interactive data genetic reporting via a cancer genome browser using a BlackBerry Passport, according to a Reuters report.

Developed in partnership with healthcare data provider NantHealth, the BlackBerry app will let oncologists assess genetic alternations for determining treatment strategies, according to the article. NantHealth leaders describe the device as a "scalable supercomputer" for physicians.

The browser is projected to hit market early next year, and will also be available on other rival platform devices but tethered to BlackBerry's network.

The news comes eight months after the two vendors announced they were teaming up to develop a mobile version of NantHealth's certified clinical platform as well as a smartphone specifically for the healthcare segment. BlackBerry is in the midst of a major turnaround effort in the mobile device market and clearly believes the healthcare segment bodes big promise.

The struggling smartphone maker, which once ruled the business enterprise, is playing catch up to Apple's iPhone and even Samsung's increasing stature in the smartphone segment as well as the mHealth wearables market. In early September a report indicated BlackBerry is eyeing a move into wearables and conducting "internal experimentation."

While it has not yet provided any further insight on that strategy, a company leader noted it's eager to get its BlackBerry Messenger on such a device.

According to Reuters, BlackBerry and NantHealth are also developing a new device for big data healthcare needs and are expected to provide further insight on that project in early 2015.

For more information:
- read the Reuters report