Light Reading
The struggling handset maker sees a future in secure communications for the healthcare industry.

BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup

Sarah Thomas
4/15/2014
100%
0%

BlackBerry has invested an undisclosed sum in the healthcare IT startup NantHealth in the hopes that the struggling handset maker can build a future in the medical field.

The companies announced the investment Tuesday, saying they'd collaborate on "the development of HIPAA and other government privacy certified, integrated clinical systems that transform the delivery of medical care."

NantHealth provides cloud-based IT to healthcare providers to power information sharing, patient monitoring, and bill payment. The company says it will embed its medical software in future BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the handset maker in turn will embed BlackBerry's QNX operating system, already in some MRIs, in more medical devices.

He also plans to leverage BlackBerry's security platform to secure cloud-based networks for healthcare institutions and to enable the sharing of medical information between doctors and patients over BBM Protected, a secure communication platform currently in development.

Why this matters
BlackBerry has been struggling to maintain its relevance in the mobile industry. It has been weighing ditching its devices business and focusing on bolstering its enterprise business. Its investment in NantHealth is a good indication of its plans for the future.

Of course, healthcare is an industry that's attracting the interest of a lot of companies in the mobile industry, including wireless operators, device makers, and software developers. BlackBerry should have a leg up, given its focus on security, which is paramount in healthcare. But it may still have to convince those in the healthcare industry of its own health for the foreseeable future. (See Apigee Puts InsightsOne Acquisition to Work, Sprint Accelerator: Changing Carrier DNA, and AT&T Opens Up on Health .)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Related posts:

(22)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/19/2014 | 2:11:27 AM
Re: Makes sense
> Qwerty keybooard, simplicity, familiarity and security

Blacberry may offer all the four of the above. But people demanding the above are already in their 40s. Not their children. Just ten more years and then noone will be demanding the QWERTY keyboards. It will be like:

BlackBerry? My father had one.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/18/2014 | 4:27:31 PM
Re: Makes sense
brookseven - "Worse than that, even if you wanted a separate phone for work - why would you choose a Blackberry?"

Consumers would not choose BlackBerry. Their IT departments would choose it for them. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/18/2014 | 4:25:55 PM
Re: First good idea in years
Kruz - If BlackBerry dumps its OS, what does that leave them with? They become yet another handset maker in a market where all the oxygen is being consumed by Apple and Samsung. 

BlackBerry can succeed by doing as we're seeing here -- find B2B niches and double down in them using their existing OS. 

BlackBerry needs to learn from Microsoft, which is just now apparently realizing that its monopoly days are behidn it, and it needs to find a place to coexist with several established players. BlackBerry still seems to think it can make a comeback and go toe to toe with Apple and Samsung. And that's just not going to happen. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 11:48:45 AM
Re: First good idea in years
BlackBerry does still have $2.7 billion it can burn through trying...
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 11:47:28 AM
Re: Makes sense
I don't think that's entirely true. There are still many people that want a qwerty keyboard. It's a niche play though, and whether a niche play is enough for BlackBerry is the question. I think not, but that doesn't mean qwerties are entirely dead. Ryan Seacrest is banking on reviving them at least.
SarahReedy
100%
0%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 11:45:40 AM
Re: Makes sense
haha, yes that's one reason BlackBerry is more secure -- not worth the energy for hackers. But, whether it actually is more secure or not, there's still the perception that it is the best bet for security, I think. That's why many government workers still use it and probably a big reason it will be able to get a foothold in healthcare.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/17/2014 | 5:26:06 PM
Re: Makes sense
People don't want keyboards anymore, touchscreen is the evolution that made keyboard history.

People simply want to see the maximum screen size possible without scarifying this to keyboards, especially when not engaging in an activity that requires continuous typing.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/17/2014 | 5:22:25 PM
Re: First good idea in years
BB don't have the luxury, the expertise, nor the time to sit and develop their OS and bring it up to speed with the existing players. They certainly have interesting software suites they can customize the OS with and be different from the other Android devices (BBM for instance). And this is not far from reality: they currently are reaching out to Android by side loading apps but this is clearly not enough. BB10 has been enough in the market to prove it is a failure as it is not showing any sign of progress. On the contrary, market share is on the decline.

One could say the same about Microsoft, but the difference is that it can afford to try and learn as it has the cash to burn, the partnership and ecosystem to use, and it is showing a steady(though still low) progress.

BB should learn from Nokia's story, the dominant market leader for 14 years who refused to let go of its Symbian. It had a bad OS but still spent a lot of effort trying to make it better. And when that Symbian became actually good, it was 2 years too late and people had already moved.

There simply isn't room for another OS in the market at this level of the game.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/17/2014 | 3:24:23 PM
Re: Makes sense
Qwerty keybooard, simplicity, familiarity and security

 


I will give you Qwerty Keyboard, but such a large percentage of smartphone users are already on IOS or Android that simplicity and familiarity seem to be a stretch.  Security maybe...if you mean BES functionality.  I am aware of no reason to believe that a BB handset is more secure than Android or IOS.  Unless you are saying that they are so unpopular that nobody even remembers how to hack them.  :)

seven
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/17/2014 | 2:43:59 PM
Re: Makes sense
Worse than that, even if you wanted a separate phone for work - why would you choose a Blackberry?  -- Qwerty keybooard, simplicity, familiarity and security

I don't disagree, but those are the strengths it can play to in the enterprise. BES + iOS or Android may outweigh those benefits though. 
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (4) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
NTT DoCoMo Takes on Retail Broadband
Robert Clark, 1/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.