Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Blackberry brings IoT vision to healthcare

Steve Rogerson
October 16, 2018



Blackberry is bringing its IoT vision to healthcare to improve patient outcomes. The Canadian company has announced partnerships, customers and a blockchain system for the secure sharing of data among all healthcare things using the Blackberry Spark.
 
"We are applying our expertise in security, data privacy and communications work in regulated industries such as automotive, financial services and government to tackle one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry: leveraging healthcare endpoints to improve patient outcomes while ensuring security and data privacy," said John Chen, CEO of Blackberry.
 
The company will be using its carrier-grade network operation centre to power a blockchain digital ledger, provided by Onebio, to create a secure global ecosystem for the storing and sharing of medical data. For example, data could be inputted by patients, laboratories and IoT biometric devices, and then anonymised so these data can be shared with researchers.
 
Blackberry is offering this secure blockchain for the first time to the Global Commission, an organisation focused on ending the diagnostic odyssey for children with a rare disease. Co-chaired by Shire, a biotech focused on rare diseases, one of the Global Commission's technology pilots will explore how Blackberry might provide real-time, actionable analysis as the commission seeks to use technology to shorten the time to diagnosis.
 
Designed to be secure and compliant with IEC 62304 safety-certification standards, Blackberry's QNX real-time operating system for Medical 2.0 is for the development of robotic surgical instruments, patient monitoring systems, infusion pumps, blood analysis systems and other safety-critical products that must pass stringent regulatory approval.
 
With QNX OS for Medical 2.0, medical device manufacturers have the assurance of using trusted software field-proven in thousands of life-critical environments, including in FDA Class III medical devices.
 
The Mackenzie Innovation Institute is exploring security and connectivity between the Blackberry Spark IoT platform and its smart healthcare technology vision. The institute helps drive innovation in healthcare through research, education and training while enhancing healthcare practices, treatments and service delivery models.
 
"By developing a deeper understanding and exploring how our smart systems operate with BlackBerry Spark, we aim to uncover new ways to connect, protect and intuitively manage smart technologies in a hospital and positively impact high-quality patient care," said Richard Tam, chief financial officer of Mi2. "Together, we will focus on comprehensive security, patient privacy and intelligent connectivity, all the while achieving the vision of the internet of healthcare things."
 
Mi² is a bridge between industry and healthcare for the implementation and evaluation of innovative technologies, process redesign and practice changes in real-time healthcare environments to create sustainable value-added improvements in patient experience, quality and outcomes.
 
After a successful trial, the Melanoma Institute Australia, which pioneers the prevention and cure of melanoma through research, treatment and education programmes, has selected Blackberry to let researchers securely share critical research data and patient records in a heavily regulated environment.
 
Approved contributors in the network, such as scientists and doctors at different hospitals, can use Blackberry Workspaces to save and share data from medical histories and clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of treatments and interventions. The easy-to-use, encrypted collaboration will enable researchers to share timely clinical data, reduce the risk of data leakage and accelerate research efforts.
 
"Our priority is to advance the treatment of melanoma, so any new technology must support the clinical journey for our clinicians, not interrupt it,” said Ernie White, chief information officer of Melanoma Institute of Australia. “As we continue to expand our research network, Melanoma Institute Australia is accelerating how our researchers can freely collaborate in a very regulated environment, while maintaining data integrity. Blackberry Workspaces strikes that balance between security and ease-of-use, while helping to meet data compliance and our own digital transformation goals."