One of the more exciting announcements since John Chen’s arrival at BlackBerry a little over a year ago was the partnership with NantHealth. Over the last few years the healthcare sector has undergone an enormous undertaking moving away from paper to electronic medical records (EMR). This change has created a HUGE opportunity for both software and hardware companies. But with opportunities come threats – threats in the form of data security and privacy. Do you know your data is accurate and the system that houses it is validated (i.e. has an audit trail to track who entered, deleted or changed your data and also includes date and time stamps)? Is the system adequately firewalled to keep snoopers or hackers out? Will systems meet the requirements of country regulatory authorities (ex: FDA)? Is data backed up to prevent a loss? Another important consideration- does the healthcare professional (HCP) have ready access to the data so they can make real-time assessments – whether they are in the next room or hundreds of miles away from the patient?
Given the strengths and weaknesses of the various mobile platforms, BlackBerry seems to be uniquely positioned to take advantage of this paradigm shift. Their hardware like the Passport has a wide screen and high pixel density making it an ideal tool for many HCPs. Few if any companies offer the safety and flexibility of the BlackBerry BES12 servers.
Here is a unique opportunity to see some of the ‘future plans’ of BlackBerry in the healthcare space. The reason I refer to it as future plans is because this is one example where technology has surpassed science. Genomic sequencing affects each and every one of us who takes a medication whether it’s on a chronic or acute basis. The issue here is you need someone to interpret the results and to program that into the software. At this point it difficult for someone to analyze the data and definitively make a recommendation – that’s still a few years off.
One final point – do yourself a favor and tune into the program 60 Minutes this coming Sunday (07 Dec) to catch another glimpse into the direction BlackBerry is taking this exciting technology.