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BlackBerry Launches Cancer-Scanning Mobile Browser

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Collaboration with NantHealth will let doctors access medical data through BlackBerry Passport devices

BlackBerry has unveiled a specially-designed secure mobile browser which it hopes will aid doctors in the fight against cancer.

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

Doctors will be provided with BlackBerry’s Passport smartphone, which, thanks to its wide square display, is able to display more information than a standard mobile device. This includes giving a deeper insight into genetic information, including the specific individual genetic alternations that make each patient’s disease unique and highlighting relevant treatment options.

cancer cellIn-depth

Due to be demonstrated at the CES show in Las Vegas in January, the browser is fully secure thanks to BlackBerry’s specially designed mobile infrastructure, meaning it can be used in hospital environments without data being put at risk. The program is also fully encrypted, meaning doctors can immediately access patient information wherever they are.

“The proprietary NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser enables clinicians for the first time to investigate a tumour genome from the full three billion bases down to the single-base level in real-time, thanks to the power of the NantOmics supercomputing infrastructure,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and CEO of NantHealth.

BlackBerry acquired a stake in NantHealth earlier this year as part of an expansion into certain verticals as the company looks to refocus its strategy going forward. The Passport has played a central part in this relaunch, sitting between smartphone and tablet as the company aims to target specific enterprise and business customers.

“BlackBerry’s partnership with NantHealth illustrates how the mobile security and collaboration technology we are known for can be reimagined to create revolutionary applications across a variety of industries,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.

“BlackBerry technology has proven itself secure, reliable and powerful enough to be counted on in life-and-death situations. Its innovative form and functionality make BlackBerry Passport an ideal addition to a doctor’s medical kit.”

The news follows plans announced last month by the NHS aimed at giving patients more access to their medical data through online portals. By early 2015, the NHS is hoping to be able to provide access to GP records through dedicated apps and specially designed digital platforms, with access to all health records – held by hospitals, community, mental health and social care services – by 2018.

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