One step towards health. BlackBerry Ltd. (BB.TO 0.83%)(BBRY.O 0.23%) 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.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen, looking to help BlackBerry sell phones and services to hospitals, says that the company might build bacteria-free handsets.
The chief medical information officer at regional healthcare provider Mackenzie Health, Aviv Gladman, says that preventing patients from transferring bacteria and infections back and forth is a “huge issue.” He further added medical equipment in patient rooms, including mobile phones, can carry bacteria through the hospital itself.
Gladman said medical professionals are supposed to wipe their phone with alcohol before entering and exiting a patient’s room. A test conducted by the Journal of Applied Microbiology discovered that 20% to 30% of germs transfer between a phone and a fingertip. According to Gladman, hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading causes of death at hospitals.
“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.