Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry (BBRY) has taken a minority stake in cloud-based health IT firm NantHealth, and the two companies intend to collaborate on a new smartphone aimed at the health-care industry, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. BlackBerry declined to provide to the Journal specifics about the phone, other than that “it will have features tailored to the health-care sector but will also be available to consumers, and that it should launch in late 2014 or early 2015.”
“BlackBerry’s capabilities align closely with NantHealth’s and this investment represents the type of forward-looking opportunities that are vital to our future,” BlackBerry CEO and Executive Chair John Chen said in a statement.
Founded by medical entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, NantHealth’s platform is installed at approx. 250 hospitals and connects more than 16,000 medical devices.
“The future of the health-care industry requires the ability to share information securely and quickly, whether device-to-device or doctor-to-doctor anywhere and at any time,” said Soon-Shiong. “The potential to integrate BlackBerry’s secure mobile communications, along with the company’s QNX embedded technology, will put the power of a supercomputer in the palm of the caregiver’s hand.”
Blackberry said details of the intended partnership “are still being developed”.
BBRY is up 11 cents today, trading at $7.25 as of 3:32PM EDT.