Apple acquires a health startup yet again. This time, the company has spent its cash purchasing Gliimpse, a personal health data startup that lets people automatically gather and share their health records from multiple patient portals. The deal is a perfect example of Apple’s tendency of purchasing relatively small startups that are bringing disruption in one way or the other.
Gliimpse actually had an Apple connection even before the acquisition. The company was started back in 2013 by former Apple systems engineer Anil Sethi. The company aims to allow people to build a personal health data platform. It does so by letting folks gather, personalize and share all of their health data from a single place. Here is how their official website describes Gliimpse:
We’re a well-heeled team of self-funded entrepreneurs with deep roots in the business of healthcare, technology and building successful ventures. From Apple to SAP, Salesforce to Microsoft plus eight startups, three exits and an IPO, we’re seasoned veterans.
Our CEO’s Kaiser project helped improve millions of patient’s lives by radically automating their access to data. This time, we’re aiming higher than affecting a few million people – we want all 317 million people in America to liberate their health by liberating their data.
The acquisition apparently took place earlier this year. While the quiet on Apple’s part is only too be expected, the fact that Gliimpse has not officially endorsed it yet, is certainly a tad surprising. The idea for the startup, as per founder Sethi’s Linkedin page, was formed when he discovered how hard it could be to acquire and manage your own personal health data, during the course of his sister’s breast cancer treatment.
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.
Some of the features already introduced by the company include the likes of Tell your own story — that allows you to add your side of your health story, so as to give your physicians and care team a view into your health. They would otherwise never see — Master your data, that lets patients add data points and discover insights, trends, and other patterns in your health history, and so on.
The company has several innovative new features coming in the near future as well, including 911, Pay it forward by donating your data (DYD) and others. The platform also stores and encrypts everything so that your personally identifiable data and health data are kept apart from other users, maintaining the privacy and secrecy of everything.
Apple had the following, standard response when contacted for a comment on the acquisition.
Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.
The company already has a whole bunch of services in health-care, such as HealthKit, CareKit, and ResearchKit. The Gliimpse acquisition will probably serve to bolster its already significant capabilities in the health niche — however, the integration may likely take a form that no one is expecting.
Apple usually acquires companies with some innovative new technology on their hands and integrates it with its own systems to create something much more effective. Considering the extremely wide scope Gliimpse has, we can expect Apple to create something huge out of this acquisition by integrating it with its pre-existing services. Meanwhile, we await an official word from any of the the parties involved regarding the matter.