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BlackBerry might design a bacteria-free smartphone for hospitals

As the company seemingly aims to make a dent in the health care industry, BlackBerry hopes to get things going by possibly designing a bacteria-free smartphone intended for hospitals, reports BNN.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen made the announcement during a visit to a hospital north of Toronto, where BlackBerry, alongside ThoughtWire and Cisco Systems, announced a new project that provides nurses and doctors in a Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital unit with a portable messaging and alert system.

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“Health care workers have to be worried about one less thing to wipe down” with a bacteria-free smartphone, said Chen.

Even though he said BlackBerry isn’t developing such a phone yet, Mackenzie Health chief medical information officer Aviv Gladman implied such a phone would be of great benefit to nurses and doctors, since they have to wipe down their phones on a regular basis due to their abilities to transfer bacteria into patients’ rooms. Even wiping down a phone with alcohol wipes, however, might not be very effective, and due to their hectic jobs, medical professionals aren’t always adept at remembering to do so.

Interestingly, however, Gladman revealed one of the main reasons patients die in hospitals is due to hospital-acquired infections. Even though equipping staff with bacteria-free phones won’t be the magical bullet that eliminates such infections, they would certainly go a long way towards minimizing deaths.

If BlackBerry starts production on a bacteria-free smartphone, it wouldn’t be the first time it thought out of the box for a smartphone. The Canadian company released the decidedly square BlackBerry Passport last year, with the company rumored to release a sequel of sorts sometime this year. BlackBerry is also rumored to be working on a slider phone, a design we haven’t seen in the land of smartphones in a number of years, as well as an Android smartphone.