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BlackBerry’s Next Move May Be a Phone That Keeps You Healthy

Patrick Soon-Shiong

Patrick Soon-Shiong

By  Betsy Isaacson 

Prophecies abound of BlackBerry’s demise, but the Canadian smartphone company is still making investments — including collaborating with Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of health care IT company NantHealth and mobile innovator NantMobile, to create what Soon-Shiong calls a “novel” smartphone.

Soon-Shiong and BlackBerry’s plans are ambitious, to say the least. By the end of the year, they hope to deliver a new BlackBerry smartphone with two features largely unknown to the general public: NantHealth’s Clinical Operating System (cOS), which aims to improve doctor and patient access to patient health data, and NantMobile’s iD Browser, a system for scanning and searching the “real world” via smartphone camera.

The Clinical Operating System was built to slurp up most types of medical data.
Currently cOS can grab info directly from 1600 types of medical device, including ventilators, glucose monitors and IV drips. It can also mine and integrate most forms of electronic medical records, meaning that, for example, a physician will be able to see a patient’s clinical history, their co-pay data and notes from previous visits, all in one place.

If NantHealth’s cOS is meant to take the mystery out of medical science, NantMobile’s iD Browser aims to take the mystery out of everything else. An iD Browser works with a smartphone’s camera. Point a phone equipped with iD at a movie poster, and the phone displays movie trailers, reviews and the option to buy tickets. Similar things happen with sports logos and popular retail products.

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