Apple picks up personal health data co. Gliimpse

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Apple ($AAPL) has quietly acquired Gliimpse, a personal health data startup co-founded in 2013 by a former Apple systems engineer. While the deal took place earlier this year, Apple kept it under wraps, only confirming it this week, Fast Company reported.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple told the news outlet.

Redwood City, CA-based Gliimpse was founded on the premise that any American should be able to collect, personalize and share his or her health data. It touts its product as the first automated personal health data platform, where a series of computational algorithms enables users to collect data from “fragmented” sources into patient summaries and share it, thereby “unlocking hospital siloes.”

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The platform could help hospitals comply with a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rule requiring that more than 10% of a hospital's patients engage with their electronic health record in some way, and that patient-generated health data be incorporated into the records of more than 5% of patients. The requirement will take effect next year. 

This acquisition is just the latest in a string of moves on the healthcare front. The tech giant has been steadily building its healthcare capabilities over the past year, most recently debuting emergency call and medical ID functions on its Apple Watch and recruiting Merck veteran and Sage Bionetworks founder, Dr. Stephen Friend, to take the lead on “health-related projects.”

Apple also launched ResearchKit, which provides a framework for the development of apps to collect data for research purposes, and CareKit, which helps patients manage their health electronically by tracking their symptoms and how often they take their medication.

As for the Apple Watch, which CEO Tim Cook billed as a potential “holy grail” in healthcare in May, the company has stumbled a little since its launch. Apple had to walk back some promises, such as the inclusion of a glucometer for diabetics, because the device would fall under FDA purview if it prompted people to make medical decisions based on its output.

- here's the Fast Company story

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