Apple buys startup Gliimpse, broadens health strategy

Apple is expanding its health strategy with the purchase of US based startup Gliimpse, according to website Fast Company. Gliimpse started in 2013 with the development of a platform to gather external personal health data – into a personalized EHR. This can include lab, hospital and pharmacy data.

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Apple has confirmed the takeover, which happened earlier this year. The company will not say how Gliimpse will fit into its health strategy. Gliimpse was founded by Anil Sethi and Karthik Hariharan. They saw the need of a single platform where consumers can collect fragmented personal health data, writes Fast Company.

Co-founder Sethi writes on his LinkedIn page the platform was built in part as a response to personal experiences.  Sethi says that he’s followed his sister through her battle with breast cancer and discovered firsthand how challenging it is to acquire and manage your personal health data, because there is so much fragmentation.

“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 (…). 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.”

The acquisition will bolster Apple’s efforts in digital health. In recent years, Apple has broadend its health horizon with several kits (HealthKit, CareKit, and ResearchKit) that allow patients, clinicians, and researchers to access important health and wellness data via a range of mobile devices. This in line with Gliimpse’s mission of uniting disparate streams of health information. However, Gliimpse is intended for patients with diseases like cancer and diabetes. Apple recently hired a top pediatric endocrinologist who developed a HealthKit app for teens with Type 1 diabetes, signaling an increased interest in applications for chronically ill users.

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