BlackBerry Looks To Tackle Hospital Bugs With ‘Bacteria-Free’ Smartphone

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CEO John Chen announces aim of supplying hospitals with secure and clean BlackBerry devices

BlackBerry wants to build specially-designed handsets for use in hospitals, according to CEO John Chen, who says he wants to make the company the secure mobile choice for the health-care industry.

The devices would be bacteria-free, meaning doctors and nurses could carry around large amounts of patient data on a handheld device without worrying about transmitting harmful entities between patients.

Cleaned up

john chen blackberry lead“Health-care workers have to be worried about one less thing to wipe down,” Chen (pictured left) is quoted as saying at the unveiling of a clinical alerts pilot project in Toronto. However BlackBerry has no concrete plans to build the device at present.

The Canadian manufacturer’s new project sees the company teaming-up with ThoughtWire and Cisco to offer doctors and nurses of the Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital BlackBerry units with a portable messaging and alert system.

According to Aviv Gladman, chief medical information officer at Mackenzie Health, doctors and nurses are supposed to wipe their handsets with alcohol every time they enter and exit a hospital room in order to kill any germs transmitted by fingers.

A recent study published by Journal of Applied Microbiology, it has been found out that almost 20 percent to 30 percent germs transfer between the phone and the fingertip.

Gladman admitted that the transfer of infections and bacteria between patients in hospitals is a “huge issue”, which it hoped to fight now with the new handsets.

BlackBerry does have previous in developing devices for the health sector, having last year launched a specially-designed secure mobile browser to help doctors in the fight against cancer.

The company teamed up with medical technology firm NantHealth to develop the NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser, which it hopes will give doctors unprecedented access to patient’s genetic data to help with their treatment.

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