BlackBerry may create a bacteria-free smartphone for hospitals to use

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BlackBerry’s focus on safety and security is one of the only reasons the company has managed to stay alive as Android and iOS continue to dominate the mobile market. The company creates handsets that are designed for specific situations to provide as safe and secure an experience as possible. The latest such device may come in the form of a bacteria-free smartphone that’s designed for use in the health-care industry.

BlackBerry Ltd. may design a bacteria-free smartphone as it bids to become the secure mobile choice for the health-care industry, Chief Executive Officer John Chen said. “Health-care workers have to be worried about one less thing to wipe down” with a bacteria-free handset, Chen told reporters Wednesday at a hospital north of Toronto where BlackBerry unveiled a clinical alerts pilot project. Chen said BlackBerry is not developing the clean phone yet. The Canadian mobile manufacturer is partnering with ThoughtWire and Cisco Systems Inc. to provide nurses and doctors in a Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital unit with a portable messaging and alert system. BlackBerry will be providing the software and devices. It wouldn’t disclose how much it’s spending on the project. Transfer of infections and bacteria between patients in hospitals is a “huge issue,” said Dr. Aviv Gladman, chief medical information officer at Mackenzie Health. Medical equipment in patient rooms, including mobile phones, can carry bacteria through the hospital, he said.

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