In April last year, BlackBerry acquired a minority stake in a company called NantHealth. Founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, it's said that NantHealth is working on getting clinical decision support in real time through their NantHealth Clinical Operating System (cOS) platform. Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., is a top EHR/EMR vendor across the United States and is considered among the top 3 for EHR systems.
So what are they collaborating on? This is what Dr. Patrick said:
"Our goal is to enable physicians to make better, more informed decisions, provide best-in-class patient care and monitor the effectiveness and progress of treatment, using real-time clinical and pan-omic data never before available," said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and chief executive officer of NantHealth. "We look forward to working in partnership with the Allscripts team as the first major Clinical EMR vendor to take a major advancement towards the interoperability necessary to enable physicians and patients to stay engaged and active - before, during and after treatment - and enable the most appropriate, personalized intervention as early as possible."
An oncologist - a doctor who treats cancerous tumours - (or any doctor for that matter) will tell you that providing timely care is vital and often times critical for patient care. The prognosis is dependent on clinical decisions, thus it becomes natural that the sooner the doctor has all pertinent information - the better it is for treatment. What NantHealth will do is provide timely treament based on the patient's unique DNA. Why this different approach? We at times hear that a specific treatment did not work for an individual and valuable time was wasted by prescribing this treatment. This is not often the doctor's fault - he/she used the available data for prognosis. By combining big data analysis along with the patient's unique DNA, the doctor can foresee which would be a better treatment for a particular individual before prescribing that treatment. This simulation will save time and effort in getting that tumour treated by understanding how well the patient will respond. We all know that an individual will have to respond to the treatment and this response is an important part of the said treatment. By combining big data, genomic and transcriptome sequencing, and studying the patient's entire chart (not just the part related to cancer), physicians can better treat their patients. This part is emperically handled by NantHealth's Eviti treatment recommendation solution.
How Is This Done?
NantHealth gathers all this data via their DeviceConX and HBox. If you recall, BlackBerry partnered with NantHealth for the latter's 2nd generation HBox. The HBox is a portable medical transmitter so to say - it securely transmits and links clinical information between the patient, physician and the hospital. This HBox is being added to BES12 for HIPAA compliant transmission across the internet. The 2nd gen HBox uses QNX technology and we have already seen the NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser on the Passport. This browser enables a physician to compare genetics - at 3 billion levels lower on a gene - for better treatment. The partnership allows NantHealth to collect data via Allscripts' software. Combined with pertinent clinical data from the physician's EHR and the community via population health management tools, clinicians can proactively manage, monitor and maintain patients over time and substantially improve their treatment. Physicians can then identify all relevant clinical outcomes, treament enhancements and even gaps to make them actionable to the physician at the point of care. By engaging patients within the treatment plan (similar to the Patient Centered Medical Home) physicians see better clinical outcomes. Just imagine, patients communicating via BBM to their physician - all within a HIPAA compliant environment - on how well they are feeling.
What's In It For BlackBerry?
QNX technology powers the HBox, we have the Passport's genome browser, we also have BES12 connecting the backend. And perhaps BBM connecting the physician care team to the patient? At the 2015 Mobile World Congress, we also saw BlackBerry partnering with interRAI for the mobile versions of intake screening and questionnaires. We also saw the telemedicine app launched at MWC 2015. It would be interesting to see whether it can be integrated with the HBox.
All around, we have seen some solid announcements in the healthcare vertical from BlackBerry. We should have our op-ed on these soon.