BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) revealed today that it was investing in healthcare IT company NantHealth. The company’s CEO says that investment was all about the so-called “Internet of Things,” which BlackBerry helped create.
BlackBerry partners with healthcare
Writing on CNBC, Chen more fully explained why his company decided to partner with NantHealth. He said the main part of their strategy for turning BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is about taping into the “interconnected systems that make up the Internet of Things.” He said this will enable the company to deploy its “assets and capabilities” to assist industries, making them run more smoothly and securely.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said they will also collaborate with NantHealth to change how healthcare is delivered to patients. He spoke highly of the company’s cloud-based operating system which isn’t connected to a particular device or electronic health record.
What NantHealth has done so far
He said about 250 hospitals have installed NantHealth’s platform, which connects over 16,000 medical devices which collectively record over 3 billion patient vital signs every year. Chen believes that this is the direction in which healthcare is going, noting how important technology is in the industry because it enables doctors and other healthcare workers to share information and understand “conflicting signals” which can mean life or death.
Chen also noted that as the healthcare industry moves in this direction a more security infrastructure is going to be needed. He emphasized BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s reputation for security within the technology field, saying that they would ensure practices and hospitals comply with privacy laws while also make billing procedures much easier. He also said they want to play a role in helping healthcare workers make the most of mobility.
Chen provides examples
Spefically, the CEO said the Internet of Things would be able to connect blood pressure or electrocardiograph machines to a doctor’s smartphone. Of course in such a scenario, privacy and reliability are major concerns, and he emphasized again that these areas are where BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is the strongest.
Chen also says people keep asking him whether BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) can really have a future in the mobile market, which the company did help create. He said their partnership with NantHealth illustrates the kind of future the company will have. In fact, Chen believes that the security and reliability BlackBerry is known for will be “essential to the next era of computing,” which he sees as being one in which “mobility is fully integrated with the underlying systems that keep the modern world operating.”
Where BlackBerry is going next
He noted, just as he has in the past, that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will focus more of its efforts on enterprises, government clients, healthcare and regulated industries. He also said that they will be expanding beyond mobile device management and handsets into the systems which make up the Internet of Things. He believes this makes BlackBerry smartphones more valuable because they will be able to integrate more seamlessly with these systems.
He pointed to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s QNX operating system, which he says is “at the ultra-secure core” of their smartphones. The operating system is also used in a number of industries where reliability and security are especially important. He named applications like wearable GPS devices for soldiers, steam turbine controls, nuclear power monitoring, “advanced driver assistance in cars” and others.
What BlackBerry wants to do with NantHealth
Chen closed by listing a number of reasons BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s partnership with NantHealth makes sense. He noted that their QNX technology is already used in healthcare settings to monitor patients. In addition, he said new versions of their popular messaging app BBM will provide a secure communication platform for healthcare workers. NantHealth works to integrate a healthcare facility with the larger medical network and payment system.
Together, he believes BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and NantHealth will be able to “combine secure cloud-based and supercomputing services,” which will allow healthcare workers to “crunch huge amounts of data to aid in accurate diagnoses.” He also added that BlackBerry will work to ensure that sensitive information is available only to those who are authorized to view it.