BlackBerry’s “Hail Mary” Pass for mHealth

With the release of the Microsoft Surface, which might be the ideal tablet for hospitals, doctors have plenty of options when it comes to mobile devices. While it seemed like the former doctor choice, the Blackberry, was becoming obsolete among healthcare professionals, it looks like the company is trying to make a comeback.

The company recently released the BlackBerry 10 OS, a touchscreen Blackberry Z10, and the BlackBerry Q10. Since the company has been struggling, it looks like this might be its saving grace. However, are doctors going to switch back to BlackBerry, especially if they’ve already started getting accustomed to the Android or Apple product they’ve been using?

According to the Mobi Health News article, there are some features that BlackBerry hopes will attract people. These include:

  • A physical keyboard, which most Android and all Apple products lack (unless you purchase a detachable one.)
  • An opt-in predictive text
  • BlackBerry Balance – the data storage allows the user to have work-related material put in a special section that is more secured, and it can be easily deleted if the employee leaves the company.
  • BlackBerry Protect – this is a built-in security feature, that, if the device is lost, can remotely delete all the information. This is usually a feature that has to be downloaded on most mobile apps, but just comes with the new devices.
  • Blackberry Remember – an “organizational aid” that can be used to take notes and keep track of events. There is plans for it to be able to sync with Evernote.

The CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, has also indicated that the new OS will eventually expand to other devices, especially ones for medical professions.

These new developments for BlackBerry are being called their Hail Mary pass, and it seems like they are making a worth effort. I think if they want to compete, they will need to release some type of tablet, as well as get health app creators to make more BlackBerry compatible apps. It’s obvious that many companies are seeing the value in appealing to the healthcare field, and it will be interesting to see if BlackBerry can get their name back in the game.

About the author

Katie Clark

Katie Clark

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.