BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Invests In Healthcare IT Firm NantHealth

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) on Tuesday announced an investment in NantHealth, which is a leader in healthcare IT. Both the companies will work together to develop HIPAA and other government privacy certified, integrated clinical systems that play a significant role in making healthcare accessible for payers, providers and patients. To make the delivery efficient, the technology would use a combination of real-time connectivity, high performance computing and 21st century decision support.

“BlackBerry’s capabilities align closely with NantHealth’s,” said BlackBerry’s Chief Executive John Chen, in a statement on Tuesday. “This investment represents the type of forward-looking opportunities that are vital to our future.”

New smartphone for healthcare

Chen, who took control of the company last year, views health care as a high-potential sector, where the company has a competitive advantage due to a huge demand for the patient privacy coupled with BlackBerry’s massive network that could store and secure date safely on mobile devices.

Both BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and NantHealth will use their expertise to come up with a new smartphone, which will be customized to the needs of the healthcare sector. According to Jim Mackey, BlackBerry’s head of corporate development and strategic planning, the device is expected to launch in late 2014 or in early 2015.

“We do plan to make the device available for all, but it will be optimized for viewing 3D images and CT scans,” said Mackey. The executive said that the smartphone will have all the features of a regular model like movies, games, apps, etc.

BlackBerry an ideal partner

NantHealth, which is based in California, already covers around 250 hospitals and more than 16,000 medical devices through its cloud-based platform. According to the company, a partnership with BlackBerry will help it to expand the scope of its services.

According to NantHealth’s founder Patrick Soon-Shiong, “Security and privacy” are of utmost importance to the company and to the patients. “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.”

Soon-Shiong, who is a businessman and surgeon, made billions by selling his previous companies American Pharmaceutical Partners and Abraxis BioScience. Soon-Shiong views BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) as an ideal partner owing to the company’s focus on services and enterprise clients.

As of now, there has been no details provided over the financial terms of the deal, but NantHealth revealed that it does not expect any more funds from the Canadian firm apart from its current investment.

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