The of healthcare (we’ll see)

What does $4M in seed money and 25 employees get you compared to Apple? We’re not sure, but Seqster has done it. We know, another personal health records company. But, according to Seqster CEO Ardy Arianpour, “the company has standardized and harmonized all the different data sources on the back end so we’re able to organize and visualize health data, so you can actually control and be the CEO of your health.” They’ve also created a Caregiver View, enabling caregivers to track their loved ones. Want to see a dashboard, go here. Will they make it? Who knows, but they are off to an impressive start via partnerships with the American Heart Association, the San Diego Blood Bank, and Boston University. Who knows maybe someday InsightCity readers will look back and say, “I remembered them when.” Or not.

Apple’s API app accessible

This week, Apple released news that it will allow access to “Apps empowering consumers to manage medications, diseases, nutrition and more, coming this fall” (to a developer near you). The Health Records feature that allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics (e.g. Johns Hopkins, UNC, Cedars-Sinai, Ochsner) to access medical information from various institutions organized into one view on an iPhone. With this people can share data from various sources with other apps or healthcare providers. Use cases include: Medication tracking via Medisafe, Disease management, Nutrition planning, and Medical research via ResearchKit. If you want to know more about Apple’s developer conference and have 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 20 seconds to kill, then you can watch the keynote here. New Apple marketing: “Using an Apple a day will keep the doctor nigh.” (sigh)

Apple, at it again

Backed by the “who’s who” of US hospitals, Apple recently launched the Apple Health Records feature, which will aggregate existing patient-generated data in a user’s health app with data from their EHR. For a screen shot of the app/feature go here. With names like Stanford, Duke, and Vanderbilt already signed on, you might think we’re talking about your busted NCAA bracket. We’re not. The Apple “feature” has been in beta for a bit and Dr. Paul Testa of NYU has used it to enable 35 ER doctors, through Apple Watch’s push notifications, to request vital lab results be delivered so they see the results and respond quickly to patient needs. Pretty Star Trek-ish. While Apple has plans to go where no one has gone before, this just might be their one shining moment. RIP the NCAA tournament.

Apple and Amazon are all over healthcare

CNBC noticed Amazon quietly launched a partnership in August with OTC manufacturer Perrigo to create their Basic Care line of products. While Amazon may not be the ideal fix for when you need that bottle of cold medicine ASAP, the company could be in a good position to corner the market on products that are bought in bulk like nicotine gum. Apple’s healthcare foray is more tech-focused: they’re developing the next attempt at personal, electronic health records. The idea is to use patients’ smartphones as the unified repository for health records that could otherwise be scattered across healthcare providers. More complete records and data could drive recommendations for care, and could even translate into partnerships with pharma companies to pitch their products directly to consumers fitting a certain profile.

Adding to the core of Apple

Welcome. Your Apple doctor will see you now. It’s no secret that Apple likes healthcare. Think Apple Watch for healthcare, think HealthKit, think ResearchKit, and somewhere down the line you might have to think about physician clinics. According to always fuzzy “sources,” Apple’s health team has discussed expanding into the primary care sector for more than a year. Building apps is one thing, but running a brick-and-mortar physician clinic is quite different, or is it? Apple seems pretty good at running retail stores and enhancing the customer experience. BTW, we tried so hard to keep from using “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We tried. All we want is the option to use an iTunes gift card for the co-pay.

Apple’s top secret plan for diabetes

A secret team at Apple, made up of around 30 tech and biomedical experts, is working on a program that would use the Apple Watch as a sensor “that can noninvasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes,” according to three bean-spillers close to the project. This was envisioned by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs prior to his death. The project has been ongoing for at least five years, and is reportedly run now by Apple’s SVP of hardware technologies, Johny Srouji. How would something like this work? Good question. According to a CNBC article, the program would “[shine] a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.” It’s like something Q would create – for a diabetic 007.

4. A Gliimpse into the future

IPhone owners may have a new tool at their disposal in the near future. Gliimpse, an app that allows users to store, update and share personal health data, is reported to have been purchased by tech giant Apple. While Apple hasn’t disclosed the purchase price or their intentions with the app, some believe they will make a run at offering something previously failed by Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault – personal health records. Whereas previous PHRs required users to manually input data from multiple sources, Gliimpse seeks to address the issue by aggregating information across multiple platforms. Matthew Holt, founder of the Health 2.0 conference, said that the app was “good at taking unstructured data in a variety of formats and presenting it in a readable way.”