August 25, 2016

Apple acquires health startup Gliimpse in new deal

A new acquisition could show Apple's new focus on medical data.

Apple recently purchased a relatively young health data company called Gliimpse, Fast Company reported. The merger, as of this writing was not officially acknowledged by Apple. Gliimpse, just three years old, specializes in health data collation for consumers. According to the source, it specifically focuses on certain widespread diseases, including cancer. The cost of the technology merger was not reported.

As the article pointed out, the purchase could signal Apple's growing focus on digital health care. Gliimpse reportedly establishes a consistent compilation of various health data into a single source. However, Fast Company also noted that "in previous cases, the technology it has acquired from another company often ends up looking very different when it finally makes it into a product," referring to Apple's other merger activity.

Apple has already announced other health-based initiatives. HealthKit is a developer platform for making mobile medical and fitness apps. The company also has the similarly minded CareKit and ResearchKit: The former allows for apps based around specific medical conditions, while the latter is specifically for programs that involve gathering data.

The official site for ResearchKit claims that  apps designed with ResearchKit have tackled Parkinson's disease and autism. The growth in health app options also parallels the rise of hardware like the Apple Watch, which could offer additional opportunities for health monitoring.

Gliimpse has also not yet commented officially on the deal, despite the many sources reporting it. The company's FAQ stresses Gliimpse's emphasis on security and the control it grants to users in deciding who gets to access specific information. It claimed that three-quarters of health care systems in the U.S. currently offer patient portal access.

Healthcare IT News said that Gliimpse CEO Anil Sethi has worked in the health industry for 30 years and wants to prioritize patient agency with his latest company (the fifth such effort he's made).