Tech 8 October 2018

Dennis Wafula

BlackBerry develops blockchain platform for healthcare

Former smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has launched a blockchain-based solution for the healthcare sector that will enable data to be shared in an “ultra-secure” manner.

The platform, called BlackBerry Spark, aims “to create an ultra-secure global ecosystem for the storing and sharing of medical data.” With this solution, patients, laboratories and even Internet of Things (IoT)-based biometric devices can input data, which can be “anonymized” for sharing with researchers, according to the software company.

John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, said: “We are applying our expertise in security, data privacy, and communication 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.”

BlackBerry noted that its carrier-grade network operation center (NOC) will power the digital ledger technology-based system.

The company’s first client for its Sparks product is a grou called Global Communication, which helps children with rare diseases. The commission is co-chaired by global biotech firm Shire. Tech pilots from Global Communication will explore how BlackBerry Spark “might provide real-time, actionable analysis” to shorten the time to diagnose rare diseases.

BlackBerry has joined various institutions in venturing into blockchain and its technologies. The company has presented patent blockchain bases operating system for the development of robotic surgical instruments, patient monitoring, and other safety-critical products.

Many companies in the smartphone industry have also turned their attention to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Recently, Nokia collaborated with Stream, a blockchain data platform, and OSIsoft, a software company, to help users monetize their personal data. The companies hoped to create a platform that would allow clients to buy and sell real-time data streams through Ethereum smart contracts.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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