Blackberry and Healthcare: Implementation of Internet of Things

We do know that BlackBerry owns Certicom which multiple patents in Elliptic Curvice Cryptography. The fact that this gives an edge to BlackBerry is beyond doubt. BlackBerry has shifted gears towards Internet of Things (IoT) which is indeed the next big thing by issuing managed security certificates to secure sensors and IoT.

IoT provides a seamless connectivity to different units that allows them to cross talk and become situationally aware instead of dumb terminals that are interconnected but not allowed to interact. This is a rather crude explanation for IoT but for our purposes is suffice. For long, I had been scouring around for a real implementation of “smart hospital” than just the staff using smartphones ! BlackBerry has shown the way here as well.

In the above video, Mackenzie Health, a regional hospital in Ontario, has been able to leverage the power of BlackBerry’s IoT platform. They used a mix of the BYOD environment by using the powerful BES 12 solution and of course, the gold standard of devices, the BlackBerry Passport! (BlackBerry Bizblog has written about this health care provider  here, here and here.) To quote:

By utilizing contextual information such as location, task, and role to generate rules around communications processes, Mackenzie hopes to make communication faster and smarter, and empower doctors and nurses with better information in real-time for better care.  (emphasis mine). 

Phase II is being rolled out for secure messaging. (no prizes for guessing! It’s going to be BBM Protected!).

Image Courtesy, BlackBerry Bizblog
Chest X Ray on BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Passport, when released with the tag line of “work wide” was lost to many “tech reporters” who saw the device from their narrow perspective of how they evaluate the Android phones. The superlative screen allows for review of images. Since the images have been captured at high resolution but scaled down, zooming into a region of interest doesn’t loose out on the details that may be required for identification of differential diagnosis of what the radiologist is looking at.

Why would using mobiles be advantageous? This is because you have the push notifications that are empowered for the device from the central unit (PACS) and the images can be seen or analysed in real time by the medical health care specialists. Not just images, the critical care units like ventilators/ automated blood pressure monitoring machines, cath labs etc can all be brought online to deploy notifications Couple this to BlackBerry Messenger (Protected) and this closes the loop for an ultra secure solution that preserves the patient’s confidentiality as well. No wonder, BlackBerry invested in Nanthealth!

More importantly, how does it lead to significant cost savings for the hospital? I could personally think about a mix of BYOD like scenarios that allows for BlackBerry Balance (leveraged by BES 12)- your work and personal side are separated by the container. This definitely cuts costs for initial device acquisition. IoT opens up several data streams that allows for real time notifications for the administration. For example, the deployed IoT sensors could easily alert the staff about occupancy levels, hand hygiene practises for compliance (and hence reduction of hospital transmitted infections in critical care units), staff badges that allows for real time authentication and seamless access to hospital resources depending on graded access and many other aspects of holistic hospital management.

A hospital thats critically dependent on a quick turn around time for its precious resources, its imperative that IoT speeds up the decision making tree by getting updated information on bed occupancy levels. A data stream that is automated in order to alert the administration about the footfall and how precious resources can be allocated to iron out the chinks in the infrastructure.

IoT integrated with Electronic Medical Records would even be better. EMR has been shown to be cost effective in several prospective and retrospective studies depending on which econometric model one looks at. The interoperability standards still remain to be defined but a forward looking administration can easily roll it completing the loop for mobile health care delivery- on the administrative and clinical side at the same time. There are enough case studies on deployment on mobile health care delivery as well. 

BlackBerry alone is poised for securing critical health care delivery sector though its initiatives like IoT and CHACE. That’s the vision of 21st century healthcare and you can rest be assured that its safe and secure by BlackBerry.




BlackBerry Forever!

  • shanerredflag

    Great read… locco_smiley_10

  • incognito

    Hmmm Elliptic curve cryptography -Very interesting stuff…

  • newcollector

    I just hope more medical facilities see the value of in the hand imagery and really take seriously the need to keep things secure end to end. Great article.