Apple buys personal health data startup Gliimpse

iOS 8 (Health, teaser 001)

Apple has acquired another small startup, called Gliimpse, that has built a secure software platform for users to manage and share their own medical records, Fast Company learned Monday.

The acquisition reportedly happened earlier this year, but Apple’s been quiet about it and has now issued its usual non-denial, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

According to the official Gliimpse website, the firm wants to help all 317 million people in America to “liberate their health by liberating their data.”

Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse was started in 2013 by entrepreneur Anil Sethi, who worked as as a systems engineer at Apple in the late 1980s.

Sethi explains he founded Gliimpse after witnessing his sister’s battle with breast cancer and realizing how challenging it is to acquire and manage one’s personal health data.

As a consumer of healthcare, I leave behind a bread-crumb-trail of medical info wherever I’ve been seen. But, I’m unable to easily access or share my own data. Obamacare is one of several forcing functions federally mandating physicians and hospitals give us our data: meds, labs, allergies… you get the idea.

However, there’s no single Electronic Health Record that all physicians use, sigh. Worse, there isn’t even a common file format across a 1000+ systems.

Gliimpse technology is particularly aimed at patients with diseases like cancer and diabetes. It’s unclear how the acquisition might fit into Apple’s existing HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit software platforms.

If you ask Tim Cook, Apple for now remains focused on the non-regulated side of health care, which in his personal opinion has tremendous revenue potential.

“So if you don’t care about reimbursement, which we have the privilege of doing, that may even make the smartphone market look small,” he told Fast Company in an earlier interview.

Source: Fast Company