Healthcare is an important vertical segment for BlackBerry, and one that we have dedicated resources to across the company. We are focused on bringing our entire BlackBerry platform to healthcare customers in a way that provides them with a turnkey, end-to-end solution. We work closely with our partners to achieve solutions that impact productivity, efficiency, security, patient care and cash flow of a healthcare facility – from the latest electronic medical record and health information management software to point-of-care solutions and medical imaging systems.
Earlier today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Dr. Pavan Kumar of Hiranandani Hospital in Mumbai, India showcased another innovative solution that’s solving a unique challenge in healthcare – that of enabling medical professionals to remotely monitor patients’ health and provide care from a distance.
Developed by UST Global under the guidance of Dr. Pavan, in partnership with the BlackBerry India team, this mobile telemedicine app provides access to qualified doctors and affordable treatment without the need for patients to travel to cities, and without requiring the physician to be at a special telemedicine center.
The telemedicine app aims to simplify and achieve the main functions of a desktop system, but on a smartphone. Many rural patients only have limited access to basic healthcare services. Healthcare teams in these remote locations need an easier way to treat more patients and consult with medical specialists that would not otherwise be available. On the physician’s side, they need to be able conduct a consultation easily from wherever they were, as opposed to having to travel.
The telemedicine app on BlackBerry allows teleconsultations, diagnosis and opinion sharing between patients, doctors, specialists and peripheral hospitals, all through the security of the BlackBerry platform. It uses BBM Video to enable video sessions between the clinical staff, the patient and the specialist. It’s all secured through BES which ensures sensitive patient data is kept private and also provides secure connectivity to backend databases and systems. Building on the BlackBerry platform has allowed for cross-platform device support to mobilize the solution on other devices as well. BES provides robust application management and push services for real-time updates and notifications on the device which has resulted in improved workflow.
Rural communities are now able to meet the unique challenges of maintaining access to healthcare at an affordable price. With the telemedicine app, it’s less cost prohibitive for remote patients to obtain timely medical care for common and treatable ailments. It also expands the reach of healthcare teams by enabling them to access more patients without having to physically travel to other locations. Patients can be monitored for post-operative care once they leave the hospital, and connect back to their specialist if they have any issues or questions. This results in better patient outcomes because this relationship is maintained. For IT departments in hospitals, the solution eliminates the need to purchase capital intensive equipment and costly infrastructure to support the rural communities.
Dr. Pavan believes the telemedicine mobile application could transform the healthcare industry, not just in India and Africa but worldwide, with its benefits to care and cost savings.
“We have been testing this app with some of our patients and specialists in India and Africa, but the bigger story is how this solution can help patients stay in touch directly with their doctor, no matter where the patient and doctor are,” said Dr. Pavan. “This is a global challenge and alongside BlackBerry and UST Global we are now able to provide a telemedicine solution to people around the world. This will be of tremendous benefit to the healthcare industry and is truly revolutionary.”
Gilroy Mathew, General Manager of UST Global agrees. “UST Global believes in placing consumer-centricity and innovation at the heart of our solutions to transform lives in the communities that we operate in,” said Gilroy. “The mobile telemedicine application helps to eliminate distance barriers and to improve access to medical specialists that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. We built this solution on BlackBerry to ensure the security and privacy of patient data, as well as to allow interoperability with other mobile platforms.”