by Al Sacco

BlackBerry and Healthcare: RIM Shows Off Medical Apps at Pittsburgh Hospital (Video)

Feb 24, 2011
MobileSmall and Medium Business

A new video from RIM details BlackBerry smartphone use at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Mercy Hospital.

Hospitals and medical centers are some of the many corporate environments in which BlackBerry smartphones are frequently deployed to help make staffers—in this case, doctors and nurses–more efficient and improve communication between them and their customers–patients. Since BlackBerrys are largely considered the most secure enterprise smartphones, government health agencies, hospitals and private medical groups often opt to issue BlackBerry smartphones to staff that regularly handle and sensitive personal information, such as patient health records.

This is apparently the case at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Mercy Hospital, where a group of doctors and nurses recently worked with RIM to demonstrate how they use BlackBerrys to keep track of patients’ prescriptions, ensure those patients are in the appropriate medical areas at the right time, collaborate with colleagues and much more. (It is, however, worth noting that RIM is “one of the center’s financial and technical sponsors,” according to a doctor featured in the video, so it makes sense that this particular organization uses BlackBerrys instead of, say, iPhones or Android devices.)

RIM has really been ramping up its social-media outreach and overall BlackBerry awareness programs in recent days, and this new video clip is the latest company’s latest effort to demonstrate how everyday people use RIM smartphones for work and for play.

The most interesting parts of the video, at least from my perspective, are when the nurses show the actual applications they employ, which all seem to be part of some custom software suite called “Smartroom.” Those apps include “Smart Text,” which lets users send secure text messages to all appropriate parties at once, so they don’t have to chase anyone down. And another “Transporter” app helps nurses ensure patients who are waiting for procedures make it to the appropriate hospital locations on time.

Check out the video post above for more specifics. And for additional information on how BlackBerrys are used in medical environments, read my case study on the subject: “BlackBerry at D.C. VA Medical Center: Saving Heart-Attack Victims with Handhelds.”


Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Al at