Apple acquires Gliimpse

“Apple’s ambitions in the health sector continue to expand, with its digital health team making its first known acquisition—personal health data startup Gliimpse,” Christina Farr and Mark Sullivan report for Fast Company.

“Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse has built a personal health data platform that enables any American to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data,” Farr and Sullivan report. “The company was started in 2013, and funded by serial entrepreneur Anil Sethi, who has spent the past decade working with health startups, after taking his company Sequoia Software public in 2000. He got his start as a systems engineer at Apple in the late 1980s.”

“The acquisition happened earlier this year, but Apple has been characteristically quiet about it,” Farr and Sullivan report. “The acquisition will bolster Apple’s efforts in digital health. In recent years, Apple has delved into the sector with a range of services (HealthKit, CareKit, and ResearchKit) that allow patients, clinicians, and researchers to access important health and wellness data via a range of mobile devices. That’s in line with Gliimpse’s mission of uniting disparate streams of health information.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One of the biggest issues in healthcare in the U.S. today is that there is no “Quartberback” – someone running the effort, coordinating the various specialists, making sure everyone is on the same page with the treatment plan(s), drug interactions, allergies, etc. A “playbook” showing the full picture of the patient’s health data would be very useful – and let the disparate medical personnel each quarterback on their own. Hopefully, Apple can step in, build, and fulfill this need with the company’s vaunted security and privacy.


  1. The degree to which this personal mechanism is accepted to interact with the institutional systems is the fulcrum is this issue. If the institutions only trust their own systems, the personal application is rendered meaningless, little different than the degree to which the networks, cable systems, and other content providers participate with AppleTV. If Charter or Comcast don’t work with AppleTV, is it reasonable that Johns Hopkins and/or Humana will?

    1. The healthcare and cable/satellite TV industries are two entirely different animals, Tom, as are the potential relationships that Apple is attempting to foster.

      In the case of cable and satellite TV, Apple is seen as the enemy. In the case of healthcare, Apple is likely perceived in a variety of ways. Many researchers appear enthused about ResearchKit. Apple users and the third party device industry will determine the longevity of HealthKit. And doctors and patients will determine the fate of CareKit along with healthcare providers and the insurance industry, in all likelihood. It is a complex situation and you correctly identify the importance of meshing with institutional systems which are, in turn driven by laws and regulations. Just as Apple had to learn to deal with the FCC when it jumped into the iPhone business, Apple is going to have to learn to deal with other aspects of the U.S. government.

    1. As scary as the NSA may be, they are infants compared to the professional spying done by for-profit concerns around the world, both illegal and legal organizations.

      Ironic that Americans are fed a steady stream of paranoia-inducing propaganda intended to justify USA’s insane military budgets and creating a homegrown patriotic support of troops who have primarily been camped abroad to support corporate profits, while at the same time these patriots think they will be able to stop sophisticated cyber terrorism (international and domestic) and unfettered datamining by the likes of Google and even less savory characters by doing nothing but carrying around iPhones, small arms, and NRA stickers. Americans seem to be more delusional than ever the real threats to national security, and less able than ever to agree on a sane strategy.

      Here’s a thought: NSA needs oversight that neither corrupt party is willing to give it. And instead of demanding transparency, a good portion of Americans turn to the stupidest simplistic idiot in the room to address complex international problems that America’s allies face as much as the USA does. Trump’s proposed wall would be about as effective as the Great Wall of China in stopping terrorism and illegal immigration. Expensive distraction.

      I don’t see Apple lifting a finger to support a more secure nation — Apple now prioritizes profit first, marketing personal security to consumers while not delivering it in the iCloud, and then of course growth in Communist China to support goal #1. Typical corporate behavior. If Apple does care about democracy, it could do more to be the preferred IT provider for enterprises and government. Until Apple displaces Google and Dell and Blackberry, with superior products that serve the nation, then Apple fanboys have no realistic expectation that the NSA will ever be a friend. Put Macs and iPhones in the hands of everyone at the NSA, and they might change their tune.

      1. Good analysis. The NSA is its own nation; It can do what it wants and Congress feeds it all of the money it wants. You know why? Because legislators know that it has the goods on all legislators with which it can blackmail them. If anyone steps out of line, refuses to OK its budget for example it could anonymously release damaging info on that legislator to some website or newspaper, untraceable to the NSA. While the NSA may not tower over private spy agencies such as Choice Point or Facebook, its badness lies in its unaccountsbility; No one gave it legal/Constitutional power to spy and blackmail private citizens. All this, of course is large made possible via the US Patriot Act and the yearly NDAAs.

        You think that Apple is no different than Microsoft in its cahoots with China?

        I wonder if you might be willing to expand on this ambiguous comment centering around the “they”:

        “Put Macs and iPhones in the hands of everyone at the NSA, and they might change their tune.”

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