BlackBerry, NantHealth to launch HIPAA secure smartphone genome browser

BlackBerry ($BBRY), maker of the Passport smartphone, and health analytics company NantHealth said they will launch a clinical genome browser early next year that will be HIPAA-compliant.

The browser--slated to be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in January--will give oncologists the ability to see individual genetic alternations in a patient so they can make targeted treatment options, the companies said in a press release. The Passport has a large, high-resolution screen allowing clinicians to see a patient's chromosome at an individual base-pair level.

NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong

"The proprietary NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser enables clinicians for the first time to investigate a tumor genome from the full three billion bases down to the single-base level in real-time, thanks to the power of the NantOmics supercomputing infrastructure," Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and CEO of NantHealth, said in a statement. "This integrates with NantHealth's treatment recommendation engine, Eviti, to personalize treatment protocols to individual patients based on their genomic signature."

Soon-Shiong, who was profiled Sunday night on the CBS News show "60 Minutes," is at the forefront in using DNA, RNA and proteomics to fight cancer. NantHealth's labs are expected to be operational in early 2015.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry took a minority stake in the California-based healthcare startup. Terms of the deal weren't released, however, the investment fueled speculation that BlackBerry was moving more toward niche markets where secure communications are required, such as the healthcare industry.

The NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser will be available on BlackBerry's Passport smartphone, and is touted as being able to be deployed in a HIPAA environment. Additionally, BlackBerry says it will be selling its enterprise mobility management tools to hospital technology administrators.

The browser, the companies said, is only the first offering being developed jointly by BlackBerry and NantHealth for the healthcare industry.

- see the release
- watch the "60 Minutes" profile

Special Report: Fierce's 10 top biotech billionaires - Patrick Soon-Shiong

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