Medical records, electronic or otherwise, might as well be Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to, well, just about anyone other than a medical professional. This makes it next to impossible for us to make sense of our personal health data.
But a startup called Gliimpse says it has developed the “Rosetta Stone” for medical records, which helps translate the esoteric information into fluid, actionable data. I recently caught up with Gliimpse co-founder and CEO Anil Sethi, and co-founder and president Karthik Hariharan.
What exactly is Gliimpse and what problem is it trying to solve?
Gliimpse was founded on the simple belief that each and every one of us should be able to freely collect and securely share our personal health data with those we trust. The challenge facing this vision is that we all leave behind a breadcrumb trail of data at the increasingly fragmented institutions we visit. This is compounded by the growing amount of patient self-reported data outside the four walls of a health system plus the increasing number of devices (watch) that capture lifestyle data. Gliimpse solves this health data fragmentation problem; our software-driven technology enables consumers to seamlessly collect their data from thousands of health systems, today.
On your website, you say Gliimpse is your personal health record, reimagined. Can you explain what you mean by this?
The Personal Health Record (PHR) is not a new idea. PHRs have been around in various forms for years, notably Google Health's entry (and exit) from this space. Today a myriad of companies offer a PHR into which the consumer either must self-enter all their data manually, or authorize a service that collects their paper records to fill in their health data as a paid service. Gliimpse has fundamentally reimagined this category by building a computational engine behind the PHR that automates the following three things that were not possible before:
- Gliimpse enables consumers to aggregate their personal health data "automagically" (often in minutes) from thousands of health systems, pharmacies and labs without any human intervention (akin to Mint, for healthcare) to add self-reported elements and to securely share it with others.
- Our data-processing pipeline converts EMR (Electronic Medical Record)-extracted clinical records into a computable and synthesized format, which is how Gliimpse uniquely delivers our features and insights. Our PHR 2.0 is reimagined as its built entirely on data (not documents) and that data is coded according to national and industry standards. That's why we can do such powerful things with it, like advanced search, population-health comparisons, outliers reporting, trending, and even the ability to donate your data for research purposes.
- Gliimpse is built on top of our data platform allowing other mHealth apps and digital algorithm APIs ability to access a consumer's health data with the user's explicit consent. This allows for a rich ecosystem of health relevant apps and services to be built, personalized by one's own health data.
Who is the intended audience for your service?
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People. Period. You and I are the intended audience for Gliimpse. People come in a variety of flavors, from the chronic patient, to the cancer warrior, to a family caregiver. Gliimpse has benefits and features for all these folks. In addition, we offer health care ecosystem partners (Healthcare Providers, health systems, and new entrants in this space such as Telemedicine vendors) the ability to engage with Gliimpse users and integrate a patient Gliimpse into their clinical workflow. People use the Gliimpse app (free) to create their Gliimpse profile, and providers use the Gliimpse Enterprise Server (cloud-based annual license).
How much does it cost to use Gliimpse? How does the company plan on making money?
The basic Gliimpse offering is free for individuals. We plan to make money from enterprises based on the Gliimpse platform features around Medicare's growing metrics around patient engagement, automating data flow for transitions of care and care-coordination with ACOs, and population health management and analytics (all offered through our Gliimpse Enterprise Server, which features a cloud-based annual license).
Does Gliimpse have any investment backing or plans to solicit investment?
Gliimpse is self-funded by its founders. [We] are veterans of eight startups, three exits, an IPO and have returned $400M to investors and employees. Bootstrapped in classic "Silicon Valley" style, we have a small and tight team, all working long hours here in Redwood City, California. [We] also recently won a National Science Foundation SBIR grant for [our] work on health data platforms. Gliimpse will raise its first round of external capital in Fall 2015.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Anil recently spoke at the Stanford Medicine X Conference at a plenary session called, "When Personal Becomes Portable: The Future of the Empowered Patient." We wanted to include the following from his talk as it provides a sense of vision:
*"The future of the EHR is the PHR. Where EHR's record-keeping origins gives way to a richer, personal and portable health story. We're built to tell stories, not simply to record data; to make portable life's little vignettes, as tweets, selfies or blogs. We're hardwired to bear and share the narratives of our neighbors. In modern times, sensors and algorithms along with self-reported health measures illuminate the hidden stories of our health.
Through the 'Rise of the Consumer,' a critical question is whether we need to wait for national interoperability standards in health or whether we can proceed efficiently without them. One popular model of modern health is centered on the individual curating then sharing their personalized and portable information. EHRs restrict and still silo the lifesaving data individuals need to create a longitudinal health summary that brings the greatest benefit to their lives. It's time to invite the patient to be at the center of their data so the collective narrative of the Empowered Patient can be heard once and for all — moving from a focus on pills and procedures to being prescriptive and predictive in their care."*