Apple’s digital health team has made its first known acquisition, a personal health data startup named Gliimpse, Fast Company reports. The Silicon Valley company was started in 2013 and built its own software platform to allow people to collect, personalize and share a picture of their health data. Gliimpse was funded by Anil Sethi, a “serial entrepreneur” who spent the past decade working with health startups and got his start as a systems engineer at Apple in the 1980s.
The acquisition will bolster Apple’s strong push into the digital health field, with CEO Tim Cook saying he hopes to see an Apple Watch that will know more about the body and even be able to recommend a doctor’s visit when it’s necessary. That mission is in line with Gliimpse’s intended function of uniting various streams of health information into a usable snapshot of overall health. A Gliimpse press release from last year details how the company’s model of letting the user enter their own personal data and share it as they wish keeps the process clear of violating privacy guidelines in place under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Avoiding HIPAA snags will likely keep Apple’s health technologies outside the purview of federal regulators, and Cook said he sees major business opportunities on the non-regulated side of healthcare. “So if you don’t care about reimbursement, which we have the privilege of doing, that may even make the smartphone market look small,” Cook said.