A company founded by Indian American entrepreneur Anil Sethi has gone on to become a part of tech giant Apple.
Sethi, who earlier built up the company Gliimpse, a small startup that aimed at digitally connecting patients to their records, providing them mobility and control over their health date, was acquired by Apple in 2016, Healthcare Analytics News said.
Sethi has since gone on to co-found personal health data startup Ciitizen.
Apple, meanwhile, a few years after acquiring Gliimpse, is aggressively moving into electronic health records — with at least some progress owed to its acquisition of Gliimpse, the report noted.
The report noted that, despite Apple’s focus on the industry, Sethi’s new company could emerge as a worthy competitor to Apple.
And the company is in a better position to contend with than ever before, having raised $17 million in Series A funding, according to a Jan. 16 announcement, the report said.
The financing follows $3 million in seed funding last year and provides Ciitizen with ties to prominent investors and experts, notably Verily, the life-sciences and health-tech subsidiary of Alphabet.
Whether the company will ultimately fold into the Alphabet universe is unclear and, for now, unlikely. But if Sethi were to one day strike such a deal, it wouldn’t be his first time connecting Silicon Valley to patient-centric medical records, the HCA report said.
Ciitizen aims to enable patients to upload, organize and share their health records through a consumer-facing platform. The technology is not tied to specific health systems, like Apple’s EHR platform is thus far, and is already live for patients with cancer, the report said.
“Contrary to what is happening today, we want to facilitate patients gaining maximum direct benefit from what is rightfully theirs: their personal healthcare data,” co-founder and chief operating officer Premal Shah said in a statement.
HCA said that in a blog post last October, Sethi took aim at the broader U.S. healthcare system and why successful stakeholders don’t want to change it.
“Rather, companies are competing to aggregate and control our health data, curate it and sell it for their profit, while the patients deal with the consequences,” he wrote, setting up Ciitizen as a different kind of endeavor. “This. Stops. Now.”
Ciitizen’s tech, leaders and vision are impressing highly regarded investors, the report said.
In addition to Verily, Section 32 participated in the latest funding round, with Andreessen Horowitz leading the effort, it said.
Section 32 and Verily will each send executives to join Ciitizen’s board as observers. Vijay Pande, general partner of Andreessen Horowitz’s Bio fund, will take a seat on the board of directors, according to the report.
In a statement, Pande said he expects some big things from Ciitizen as it works to fight the health data challenges facing patients with cancer, the report noted.
“Using their deep insights, the Ciitizen team [has] developed sophisticated technology and tools that remove this friction, putting the power back in the patients’ hands and literally saving lives,” he said.
Ciitizen, meanwhile, plans to use the capital to push forward its platform development and commercial efforts. The company is “aggressively hiring” to develop products destined for unnamed healthcare partners, Shah noted, according to the report.