Apple’s digital health team just made its first public acquisition of personal health data startup, Gliimpse. Over the past three years, Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse has built a platform that enables users to personalize, collect and share and overview of their health data. The company was funded by serial entrepreneur Anil Sethi and first launched in 2013. Prior to funding Gliimpse, Sethi had already spent the past decade working with health startups. He had taken his company, Sequoia Software public in 2000.
In addition, he has a connection to Apple–he started as a systems engineer with the company in the late 1980s. Although the acquisition took place earlier this year, Apple had not made any announcements. Although, Apple has recently said “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Sethi explains his funding of Gliimpse was due to following his sister’s battle with breast cancer. On his LinkedIn page he writes:
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 is unique because it was designed to be used by patients with diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Apple has had a history of changing technologies it has required from other companies though.