A product of a partnership between BlackBerry and NantHealth, a vendor that leverages Big Data for health analytics, the NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser seeks to empower doctors to probe patients' genetic makeup in real time using the Passport smartphone.

Fresh off a $250 million round of investments, NantHealth is betting big on BlackBerry's square-faced smartphone and the companies are planning more health care solutions once the genome browser debuts in early 2015.

The HIPAA-compliant NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser will enable medical professionals to examine the genome of a tumor down to the single base layer, in real time, says Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., founder and CEO of NantHealth.

"This integrates with NantHealth's treatment recommendation engine, Eviti, to personalize treatment protocols to individual patients based on their genomic signature," says Soon-Shiong.

BlackBerry, in debuting the Passport earlier this year, has been inviting medical professionals to shun what it calls rectangular, entertainment-driven displays from rival handset makers. It has been issuing a call to "work wide," using Passport, to medical professionals, architects and others who spend the day working on documents.

Along with its square 4.5- by 4.5-inch face, the Passport's use of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 helped NantHealth settle on the Waterloo, Ontario, firm as the best partner for the genome browser. With BlackBerry already powering much of the diagnostic hardware medical professionals use, it just made sense for NantHealth to partner with the Passport maker, said Soon-Shiong.

"NantHealth has quietly built the unique capability of placing a super-computer into the doctor's hand at point of care and in time of need," says Soon-Shiong. "Now with BlackBerry's partnership and through the power of the cloud and secure networks, the reality is we are now able to put dozens of supercomputers, through mobile devices, into doctor's hands on a global basis."

The outside world with get its first look at the NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which runs from Jan. 6 through Jan. 9. The genome browser will available in early 2015 and come preloaded on select BlackBerry Passports.

"BlackBerry's partnership with NantHealth illustrates how the mobile security and collaboration technology we are known for can be reimagined to create revolutionary applications across a variety of industries," says John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. "BlackBerry technology has proven itself secure, reliable and powerful enough to be counted on in life-and-death situations." 

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