As part of its pivot into security and computing, software company and former smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has released a blockchain-powered platform. The new product focuses on the healthcare field, according to a press release published Oct. 4.
Per the announcement, BlackBerry has partnered with technology firm ONEBIO to develop a blockchain-backed “ultra-secure” ecosystem. The system is designed for the storage and sharing of medical data, where information can be entered by patients, laboratories, and Internet of Things (IoT) biometric devices. Once entered, data will further be anonymized and shared with researchers. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said:
"We are applying our expertise in security, data privacy, and communication work in regulated industries such as automotive, financial services, and government to tackle one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry: leveraging healthcare endpoints to improve patient outcomes while ensuring security and data privacy."
Among other products, BlackBerry has also presented a real-time operating system for the development of robotic surgical instruments, patient monitoring systems, and other safety-critical products that must pass regulatory approval.
While at one time BlackBerry controlled 50 percent of the global smartphone market, in 2016 the firm controlled less than 0.1 percent. While BlackBerry is still in the smartphone business — it will release its latest smartphone iteration on Oct. 10 — the recent blockchain initiative is indicative of the firm’s move into other fields.
Today, BlackBerry also announced a new quantum-resistant code signing service that will “allow software to be digitally signed using a scheme that will be hard to break with a quantum computer.”