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Apple Has Acquired Personal Health Data Startup Gliimpse

August 22, 2016
by Heather Landi
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Apple has expanded its investment in digital health with the acquisition of personal health data startup Gliimpse, which occurred earlier this year, according to Fast Company reports.

The acquisition, and the amount of the acquisition, have not be publicly disclosed, but according to the Fast Company report, Apple confirmed the deal to the publication with the following statement, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Launched in 2013, Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse is a platform for data access, data sharing and data management that essentially collates users’ health data from different platforms and then enables consumers to collect, personalize and share their health data.

According to Gliimpse’s website, the company’s platform connects to over 5,000 hospitals, labs and pharmacies to collect health information from disparate sources and then aggregates it and presents it in a “consistent, understandable and standardized manner.”

“Our core technology turns medical documents into data, easily allowing search and filtering, graphs and dashboards,” the website states. And, the company states that the platform enables consumers to share their health data with family, caregivers and physicians to give them a single, shared view of their health history. The platform also has a feature that enables consumers to authorize emergency medical technicians and emergency room staff to have emergency access to their health data, and it also enables consumers to donate their health information to medical researchers.

On its website, the company states, “We all leave a bread-crumb trail of our medical ‘stuff’ – our health data and records that we can’t take with us when we leave a doctor’s office or clinic. Providers can’t easily share our records because they’re under HIPAA, the federal regulations regulating how they share patient data. A lack of interoperability makes sharing data nearly impossible. There are no common formats across a myriad of siloed clinical systems.

“Thankfully, patients and individuals—like you and mewill help solve these two problems U.S. healthcare faces: data-access and data-sharing. How? There are no HIPAA violations when data flows from our health portals to patients. When patients control the data, the problems disappear,” the company states.

Apple has been investing in digital health offerings for healthcare organizations in recent years starting with the launch of HealthKit in 2014, a health platform that aimed to connect personally-generated health data and clinical data. Building off HealthKit, Apple launched ResearchKit last year, a platform designed to allow users to participate in clinical research trials.

And, this past March, Apple announced its newest healthcare platform, CareKit, an open-source platform designed to help developers enable people to actively manage their own medical conditions. CareKit was designed to make it easier for users to share information with doctors, nurses or family members in order to help people take a more active role in their health, according to an Apple press release on the announcement at the time.

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