BlackBerry's planning a phone that might save your life

BlackBerry Classic
Would a clean phone boost BlackBerry's fortunes?

In the face of insurmountable competition in the consumer smartphone market BlackBerry is turning its attention elsewhere and exploring new ideas. One such idea is a bacteria-free phone, which CEO John Chen spoke about yesterday at a hospital near Toronto.

He told reporters that "health-care workers have to be worried about one less thing to wipe down" with a clean phone, according to Business News Network.

He went on to say that BlackBerry isn't developing the handset yet, but if he's talking about it there's a chance it could happen. It's certainly a device which could be hugely beneficial to hospitals, as it would help prevent the spread of bacteria between patients in hospitals.

Keeping it clean

Already hospital staff are supposed to wipe their phone with alcohol before entering and exiting a patient's room according to Dr. Aviv Gladman, chief medical information officer at Mackenzie Health, but sometimes they don't and in any case it's not clear how effective these wipes are at removing bacteria from handsets.

Gladman went on to say that hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading causes of death in hospitals, so a bacteria-free phone could quite literally save lives.

It's not clear how BlackBerry would create such a device, but the company is already working with the medical industry, as Chen spoke about the theoretical phone while unveiling a new portable messaging and alert system designed for hospital staff.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.