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BlackBerry eyes healthcare industry with bacteria-free smartphone

BlackBerry is reportedly venturing into the healthcare industry with a bacteria-free smartphone, which is aimed at becoming the secure mobile choice for the health-care industry.

The company also unveiled a clinical alerts pilot project at a hospital north of Toronto where BlackBerry CEO John Chen was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: "Health-care workers have to be worried about one less thing to wipe down."

BlackBerry is also teaming up with ThoughtWire and Cisco Systems to provide health care workers at Canadian hospital Mackenzie Richmond Hill, a portable messaging and alert system which includes software and devices for easy communication.

Mackenzie Health chief medical information Officer Dr Aviv Gladman was quoted as saying that transfer of infections and bacteria between patients has become a huge issue, as equipment in patient rooms as well as mobile phones could spread the infection.

Medical professionals are supposed to wipe their phone with alcohol prior to entering and exiting a patient’s room, and according to a study conducted by Applied Microbiology nearly 30% of the germs transfer between a phone and fingertips.