BlackBerry invests in healthcare software firm, will jointly develop phone

|About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)|By:, SA News Editor

BlackBerry (BBRY -0.8%) has taken a stake in NantHealth, developer of a cloud-based clinical software platform that's used by ~250 hospitals and gathers data from 16K+ connected medical devices.

NantHealth suggests it will leverage BlackBerry's QNX OS to "put the power of a supercomputer in the palm of the caregiver's hand." The company will also use BlackBerry's upcoming BBM Protected secure messaging platform (part of the eBBM Suite).

BlackBerry and NantHealth plan to develop a smartphone for the healthcare industry that's optimized for viewing 3D images and CT scans. It's expected to arrive in late 2014 or early 2015.

The deal is part of an effort by BlackBerry to carve out niches for its mobile hardware and software in enterprise/institutional verticals. John Chen: "The future of BlackBerry lies in creative opportunities like this that take our many core disciplines and combine them in ways no one else can match."