BlackBerry, NantHealth collaborate for first ever cancer genome browser


Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry has collaborated with healthcare IT leader NantHealth to launch a secure cancer genome browser that will allow doctors to access patients’ genetic data on the BlackBerry Passport smartphone.

Earlier this year, John Chen – BlackBerry’s CEO – had bought a minority stake in NantHealth with an aim to expand the company’s focus on the healthcare niche.

The company claims that the cancer genome browser on the BlackBerry Passport will enable core interactive reporting on genomics data for physicians. The browser will allow doctors to take quick and accurate decision on treatment for patients by accessing their data as soon as it is available, wherever they are. Chen said he expects this roll-out to get healthcare professionals interested in the Passport?.

The square-screened BlackBerry passport has been designed with the 1 to 1 screen ratio to allow for better viewing of X-rays, scans and other medical documents. Furthermore, the size and shape of the device makes it capable for handling large amount of data involved in genome screening.

“Our partnership with BlackBerry has really been able to create a scalable super-computer in the palm of the hands of the doctor,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, chief executive of NantHealth.

The browser claimed as to be the “World’s First Browser of the cancer genome” will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to be held in Las Vegas in January next year. The browser will come pre-loaded on BlackBerry Passport devices and will be made available for the professional community in early 2015. The browser will also be available on some of the other devices running on rival platforms, but secured by BlackBerry’s network.