News Feature | August 31, 2016

Apple Provides "Gliimpse" Into Its Health IT Future

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Apple Device Management

Apple has confirmed its purchase of AI med-tech startup.

Apple has confirmed its acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) med-tech startup Gliimpse, marking its move further into health tracking according to Forbes. The acquisition occurred earlier this year but was only recently confirmed by Apple.

An Apple representative told Fast Company, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The move marks a concerted effort by Apple to move more deeply into the healthcare marketplace, adding to the company’s current healthcare holdings. CEO Tim Cook told Fast Company he “sees major business opportunity for the company in the non-regulated side of healthcare.” That would include healthcare tracking apps and other HIPAA non-covered entities.

Gliimpse was started by Indian entrepreneurs in 2013, in an effort to make interoperability actually interoperable by aggregating health data into a single digital patient record. According to Silicon Valley Business Journal, the startup has raised at least $1 million in seed funding.

On its website, Gliimpse calls itself a health data platform, adding it “built a magical machine. It takes incomprehensible electronic medical records and turns them into understandable, standardized, coded elements (LOINC, RxNorm, CPT, ICD, and SNOMED), and terminology that both humans and machines can easily understand and use. The Rosetta Stone meets machine learning.”

Whatever Gliimpse can do now, it is highly likely that Apple will transform its capabilities into something new under its control. According to Forbes, Apple was likely attracted to Gliimpse’s claim to be a user-friendly receptacle for medical records, since Apple has already been working on ways to allow iOS 10 users request their medical records via iPhone. Science World Report speculated Apple could also be looking for new ways to help expand its Health Kit service.

“We’ve gotten into the health arena and we started looking at wellness, that took us to pulling a string to thinking about research, pulling that string a little further took us to some patient-care stuff, and that pulled a string that’s taking us into some other stuff,” Cook told Fortune in a recent interview.