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Earlier this year Apple purchased personal health data startup Gliimpse, a report revealed on Monday, potentially setting the stage for enhancements to CareKit, HealthKit, and ResearchKit.
Focusing on patients with illnesses like cancer and diabetes, Gliimpse's technology was built so that people could collect, personalize, and share their health data, according to Fast Company. The company was formed by one-time Apple engineer Anil Sethi, with the mission of eliminating issues linked to information being scattered across multiple healthcare providers, with no easy way to access or share that information between caretakers, emergency personnel, or patients.
Healthcare, like any other industry, is mired in field-specific terms and units. The Gliimpse platform is intended to untangle "incomprehensible electronic medial records" and condense them into standardized coded elements for the patient or any provider to easily glean information and trends.
In May, Apple was seeking to hire an attorney with experience with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and associated privacy issues. HIPAA has very specific rules on handling of patient records and data stored in a facility or on a device — such as might be required for the implementation of Gliimpse's technology.
Apple is rumored to be working on a new health-focused device that could collect data such as heart rate, pulse, blood sugar changes and more. Apple technical director Jay Blahnik and the company's health development team have reportedly been working on the new product for more than two years.
Apple confirmed the Gliimpse takeover in a boilerplate response to Fast Company. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," a spokesperson said.