Partnering for Innovation: BlackBerry and Mackenzie Health

Extending the already existing relationship with Mackenzie Health, BlackBerry CEO John Chen joined the "Partnering for Innovation: Healthcare in the Digital Age" keynote discussion at the launch of Phase Two of the Mackenzie Health Innovation Unit earlier today. Alongside Altaf Stationwala, President and CEO of Mackenzie Health, the discussions covered the role mobility can play in providing better patient experience and patient outcomes for healthcare providers as well the importance of security and privacy as healthcare organizations shift to connecting medical devices, also known as the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT).

BlackBerry is proud to be a part of this discussion and support the Innovation Unit project. The Innovation Unit is a wing of Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital where Mackenzie Health tests new innovations and technology in a live environment with real doctors, nurses and patients. The goal is to create a smart hospital environment where everyone can quickly see where staff are within the Unit, anticipate and respond to patient needs, and route information to the care providers that need it in a quick and efficient way.

While phase one of the Innovation Unit project involved the installation of smart beds and sensors so data and alerts can be generated to facilitate patient care and track compliance on items such as hand hygiene, phase two of the project consolidates all of the notifications and alerts from these sensors into an application from ThoughtWire that will push the notifications over a Cisco wireless network to nurses on their BlackBerry 10 smartphones backed by BES12 to ensure to comply with the strict privacy and confidentiality regulations all healthcare organizations. Find out more about the Mackenzie Health Innovation Unit in the press release below or check out the post on the BlackBerry for Biz blog.

Partnering for Innovation: Healthcare in the Digital Age

RICHMOND HILL/VAUGHAN, ON, June 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Mackenzie Health continues to advance its Innovation Strategy with the launch of Phase Two of the Innovation Unit. The first project of the Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2) and a first-in-Canada initiative, the Innovation Unit features a unique integration of advanced technology that transforms the delivery of care.

Improving Communications and Experience of Care

In the first phase of the project, Mackenzie Health implemented technologies such as 'smart' beds, 'smart' badges and communications stations, enhanced hand hygiene support solution and dome lights indicators to create safer and more effective patient care.

In phase two of the project, Mackenzie Health is implementing a smart mobile clinical messaging and alerting system which uses intelligent rules to enable automated communications between information systems and devices to bring better decision support information to the point of care.

An internet of things approach to mobile, 'smart' and secure clinical alerting and messaging

Developed in collaboration with healthcare providers, academia and private industry partners, the alerting and messaging solution builds on the Innovation Unit's 'smart' environment and leverages innovations in pervasive computing (utilizing computers embedded in everyday ‎objects to communicate information) and ambient intelligence (electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people) to create a contextually aware and personalized experience that can anticipate the needs of staff and patients, resulting in:

  • faster and more accurate, private, and secure communication between patients and their healthcare providers;
  • more informed decision making at the bedside; and
  • safer and more effective care.

The concept, design and implementation of Phase Two of the Innovation Unit have been developed by Mackenzie Health in collaboration with technology partners BlackBerry, Cisco and ThoughtWire. Nurses and physicians working on the Innovation Unit will be equipped with BlackBerry smartphones connected to the secure clinical alerting and messaging system enabled by our technology partners.

By combining Mackenzie Health's clinical expertise in patient care with ThoughtWire's Ambiant™ platform and expertise in device integration and 'smart' systems, Cisco Canada's expertise in network infrastructure and secure unified communications, and BlackBerry's expertise in mobile devices and secure enterprise mobility management, Mackenzie Health assembled a 'dream team' for the evidence-based design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of this Ontario-grown clinical messaging and alerting solution.

The Innovation Unit Phase Two project is one of five healthcare-related information communication technology projects which received funding from Ontario Centres of Excellence through its AdvancingHealth program. AdvancingHealth allows the public and private sectors to work together to build ground-breaking products and services to increase the quality of patient care and create a more efficient and sustainable healthcare system.

Mackenzie Health will analyze the information collected through this process of progressive implementation and evaluation in the real-world hospital environment. The information will inform planning decisions for the construction of the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, as well as at the provincial healthcare system and beyond.


"We are pleased to be launching Phase Two of the Innovation Unit and advancing Mackenzie Health's Innovation Strategy. At Mackenzie Health, innovation is a key enabler in achieving our vision to create a world class health experience. We strongly believe that our new Mackenzie Innovation Institute and pioneering projects such as the Innovation Unit will help us demonstrate the value of a mobile, 'smart', and secure communications in a healthcare environment." Altaf Stationwala, President and CEO, Mackenzie Health

Bringing advanced technology into Ontario's health care system is a priority for this government and Mackenzie Health's Innovation Institute and Innovation Unit are outstanding examples. Collaboration with academia and private industry is creating a technologically "smart" healthcare environment ‎that will change how patient care is delivered and also help Ontario standout in a highly competitive global economy. Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, MPP for Richmond Hill

"This initiative at Mackenzie Health is just one example of the positive innovations made possible by working collaboratively with our partners through the Ontario Centres of Excellence's AdvancingHealth program. It will help put innovation at the heart of person-centric health care, while driving economic growth across the province." David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Government and Consumer Services

"Ontario Centres of Excellence is excited to partner with Mackenzie Health through the AdvancingHealth program to support 'Made-In-Ontario' innovations to improve the quality of patient care while creating a more efficient and sustainable system. By matching critical healthcare needs with innovative products and services, and supporting collaboration between public healthcare organizations, companies and academic institutions, we are bringing added value to the public healthcare system." Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence