Apple in Healthcare: Top MedTech acquisitions and how can you gain an edge over it?

Did you know Apple acquires a new company every three to four weeks? But is that really surprising, or is it a key part of Apple’s expansion in different industries such as Healthcare? 

As emphasized in its report from last year, Apple has made significant strides in the healthcare sector. The company envisions that the healthcare data collected by its software and hardware will empower medical providers, but it is not working on this endeavor alone. Apple is leveraging the potential of numerous startup acquisitions to enable users to engage with their health.

Acquisitions are a great way to enlist the expertise of a smaller company and grow faster instead of trying to reinvent the wheel by yourself. These acquisitions can also be motivated by an intent to gain authority over any patents the smaller company may possess and for the company to expand into a new domain/industry.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has revealed that they have acquired at least 100 companies so far. But the real number is likely much higher as they don’t always publicize every such transaction.

Industry leaders, like Apple, scout and acquire startups in certain industries to bolster their products and services. 

Let’s understand how and why Apple has been scouting for and acquiring medical tech startups to strategically grow in the healthcare sector.

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Apple’s Acquisitions in the Healthcare Sector

1. Acquired Gliimpse – 2016

HQRedwood City, California, United States
Total Funding Raised$1.1 million
Acquisition Amountundisclosed
Top InvestorsNational Science Foundation
Innovative TechThe company has developed an extensive library of personal health data to produce personalized insights for people.

In 2016, Apple acquired Gliimpse, a personal health and wellness startup conceived by Anil Sethi and Karthik Hariharan in 2013. Through a seed funding round and a grant from the National Science Foundation, the startup raised a modest $1.1 million by 2015.

Interestingly, Anil Sethi had worked as a systems engineer with Apple in the late 1980s, indicating a previous connection with the company. This acquisition may reflect his long-term vision and business objectives coming to fruition.

For Apple, the acquisition was meant to strengthen its presence in the sector after releasing the Apple watch a year prior. By acquiring Gliimpse, Apple gained access to the personal health data platform Gliimpse built that enables any American to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data. 

Apple could now employ Gliimpse’s resources to enhance its HealthKit framework and open-source projects like ResearchKit & CareKit APIs. These tools can help patients, clinicians, researchers, and developers access and process important health and wellness data through various mobile devices. 

Apple is undoubtedly capable of developing an equivalent system from the ground up. But simply buying the startup put Apple into the fast lane and gave them the first-to-market advantage. Acquiring the ownership of the required technology saved them from potential litigation damages, their valuable time, and the development costs of creating such a platform from scratch.

2. Acquired Lattice Data – 2017

CompanyLattice Data
HQMenlo Park, California, United States
Total Funding Raised$20 million
Acquisition Amount$200 million
Top InvestorsMadrona, DARPA
Innovative TechAnalytics company specializing in “Dark Data” processing to produce insights.

Lattice Data were specialists in drawing useful insights from random data collection, such as unstructured text, referred to as “dark data.” They used machine learning to put that data into order and make it more usable. The company was founded in 2015 by Chris Re and Mike Cafarella- the co-creator of Hadoop. 

Lattice hadn’t driven much media buzz since its inception and remained under the radar despite raising $20 million in funding from DARPA and others for commercializing Stanford’s DeepDive project. 

Upon acquisition, Apple reportedly used Lattice Data’s capabilities to some extent in their Photos app. But it is unclear what exactly they used it for. Additionally, Apple may take advantage of the medical genetics database that DeepDive has created. 

The DeepDive project appears to be paused in “maintenance mode” after being acquired, perhaps because Apple has different plans for its progress. 

3. Acquired Beddit – 2017

HQEspoo, Southern Finland, Finland
Total Funding Raised$8 million
Acquisition Amountundisclosed
Top InvestorsInventure, Michael Widenius, Sami Inkinen, Finnvera Venture Capital
Innovative TechUses a USB-powered accessory to track user’s sleep quality and give feedback through their app.

Beddit specializes in automatic and active sleep tracking using a thin, USB-powered belt under your bed sheet. Beddit will collect, compile, and present the data on the mobile app. The company was founded in 2007 by Lasse Leppäkorpi and managed to raise $8 million in total funding by 2014. 

Using Beddit, users can set sleep quality goals, get tips on improvements, and see their progress after each night of sleep. The purpose of Beddit’s belt was to avoid having to wear any devices on your person when sleeping, but Apple certainly had other plans.

Apple bought Beddit the same year as Lattice Data.

Along with the company’s acquisition, Apple gained ownership over the following patents that belonged to Beddit.

Patent ApplicationTitleStatus
US7862523B2Force or pressure sensor and method for applying the sameActive
US11298075B2Physiological monitoring method and systemActive
US10368799B2System for determining the quality of sleepActive
US9072437B2Method, apparatus, and computer program product for detecting heart rateActive
CN107205660ADomestic sleeping monitoring systemPending

Apple is likely using Beddit’s sleep tracking tech and expertise for their watchOS in the Apple watch product line. But we assume some would be happy to grab an Apple-branded smart blanket, or should I say, an “iBlanket,” if it reached their nearest store shelves!

4. Acquired Tueo Health – 2018

CompanyTueo Health
HQRedwood City, California, United States
Total Funding Raised$1.1 million
Acquisition Amountundisclosed
Top InvestorsLaunchpad Digital Health, Plug and Play Ventures, A-Level Capital
Innovative TechDeveloped a sensor-based solution to help people to manage asthma in children without needing hospital visits

Tueo Health, a San Francisco-based startup company, was working on an app with commercial breathing sensors that empowers parents and families to monitor pediatric asthma symptoms in sleeping children. Founded and led by Bronwyn Harris and Anura Patil, Tueo Health raised $1.1 million in seed round funding in July 2017. 

Their vision to enable parents to avoid hospital-based care and related expenses using asthma control gained much traction among investors. Their solution includes sensor-based nocturnal monitoring, personalized data-driven analytics, a mobile app that provides educational and clinical context for the collected data, and an asthma coach aiding self-management. 


Snapshot from US20200253547A1 patent

Apple initially pursued Tueo to get the patent rights for the in-bed health sensor system but acquired the entire startup instead. 

As far as reports indicate, we haven’t witnessed Apple use Tueo’s med-tech expertise in their existing devices yet. But knowing Apple’s extremely strict quality standards, they may already be integration-testing Tueo’s tech into their ecosystem.

Apple’s MedTech Acquisitions Timeline


Editor’s Note: Get a holistic view of Apple’s patent portfolio here.

Apple’s Vision in Healthcare

Apple has made significant investments and collaborations with medical companies and governments. For instance, Apple collaborated with the government of Singapore to initiate LumiHealth, a personal well-being app that uses the Apple watch. LumiHealth was developed by working with physicians and healthcare professionals to gain behavioral insights through mobile and wearable technology. 

Singapore residents could use this app on their iPhones and Apple Watches to complete wellness challenges like walking, eating healthy, and mindfulness sessions to earn “LumiPoints” and coins. This initiative was an effective approach to gamify people’s well-being journey and make it fun to stay healthy.

Apple had already announced a partnership with Aetna, a life insurance company, back in 2019. They built an app called Attain to encourage smartphone and wearable device users to earn reward points through “healthy behavior.” 

Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, predicts Apple will introduce its own health insurance in 2024!

“They’ve got a wealth of personal health data through Apple Watch,” adds Ben Wood, “If they join some of the dots together, they can become a very competitive health insurance player, and that potentially is going to have quite an impact on the structure of the healthcare market in the U.S.” 

They’re entering the US health insurance market by partnering with a “major insurer,” whose identity we have not confirmed yet. The tech giant is very likely looking to build their services business upon the vast amounts of data it has been able to collect and profile through Apple watches.

We found more indications that Apple is finalizing acquisitions of two more healthcare tech companies:

  • Glooko, a SaaS company that provides a mobile app for diabetes patients,
  • Evidation Health, Inc. – an all-in-one educational healthcare app that rewards users with points for achieving health goals.

Most of these companies tend to operate similarly. We believe it’s intentional and part of Apple’s acquisition strategy. Nearly all of Apple’s acquisitions in medtech have been to bolster their health data monitoring, gathering, and processing capabilities, primarily through the Apple Watch. Therefore, you may not be surprised that Ben predicts that a third of Apple’s revenue will be from its software and service lines by 2030. Considering their annual revenue numbers, that’s a massive amount to behold.

With Apple’s acquisition strategy in mind, some promising health-tech companies may give you an edge in the medtech field.

MedTech Startups that can help you gain an Edge

1. Nference


Nference partners with medical institutions and healthcare systems to collect and process vast quantities of biomedical data. Their software collects the data and provides insights to healthcare professionals. 

Founded in Massachusetts in 2013, the company has received funding from the likes of Mayo Clinic Ventures. It is the investment arm of Mayo Clinic, which has partnered with nference on its Clinical Data Analytics Platform. Nference has raised a total capital of $152.7 million from seven funding rounds.

The company holds the following patents for its technologies and working concepts:

Patent ApplicationTitleStatus
US11062218B2Systems, methods, and computer-readable media for visualization of semantic information and inference of temporal signals indicating salient associations between life science entitiesActive
US20210019287A1Systems and methods for populating a structured database based on an image representation of a data tablePending
US11545242B2Systems and methods for computing with private healthcare dataActive
US20230197200A1Method of and system for prediction of viral variants characteristicsPending
US20210248268A1Systems and methods for computing with private healthcare dataActive
US20230075138A1Methods for treating and evaluating covid-19 patientsPending
WO2022081712A1Systems and methods for retrieving clinical information based on clinical patient dataPending
US20220372082A1Compositions and methods for treating sars-cov-2 infectionsPending
WO2021146694A1Systems and methods for mapping a term to a vector representation in a semantic spacePending
WO2021178689A1Systems and methods for computing with private healthcare dataActive
US20210019287A1Systems and methods for populating a structured database based on an image representation of a data tablePending
US11545242B2Systems and methods for computing with private healthcare dataActive
US20220189636A1Systems and methods for diagnosing a health condition based on patient time series dataPending
US20230178197A1Techniques for predicting immunosuppression statusPending
US20220016233A1Identifying patient populations vulnerable to viral infection and methods of inducing heterologous immunity in the samePending
WO2023081795A1Method and system for determining relationships between linguistic entitiesPending
US20230071353A1Systems and methods for adaptively improving the performance of locked machine learning programsPending
US20230105505A1Method of and system for detection of durability of antibody response to vaccinationPending
US20220189634A1Noninvasive methods for detection of pulmonary hypertensionPending

Nference and their expertise can be highly beneficial for projects that provide tailored, data-backed patient recommendations using their known information for clinical use.

2. Senseye


Senseye is a unique mental health visibility platform that uses your smartphone camera to detect post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It measures eye response to stimuli to diagnose and track mental health issues.

Founded by David Zakariaie, the startup has raised $8 million in funding and recently attracted interest from top healthcare investors, such as MedTech Innovator.

Senseye holds or has applied for the following patents around their technology and innovations:

Patent ApplicationTitleStatus
US10575728B2Emotional intelligence engine via the eyeActive
US11382545B2Cognitive and emotional intelligence engine via the eyeActive
US10331742B2Thresholds for key performance indicators derived from machine dataActive
US20220313083A1Cognitive, emotional, mental and psychological diagnostic engine via the eyePending
US20210186396A1Ocular system to assess operational riskPending
US20220211310A1Ocular system for diagnosing and monitoring mental healthPending

Senseye can be a valuable acquisition for offering PTSD diagnosis solutions to people using advanced computer vision technology. The company claims its diagnostics can be as accurate as the CAPS-5 measurement standard.

3. Hinge Health


Hinge Health is quickly becoming a market leader in digital musculoskeletal pain treatment. Founded 2015 in San Francisco, California, the company has raised over $1 billion in ten rounds of funding.

Their app guides you through personalized exercises designed by physical therapists and recommended by their assigned coaches. Patients experiencing chronic pain may receive the Hinge Health exercise kit free of charge. They use computer vision and wearable motion tracking sensors to detect and assist with exercises accurately.

In 2021, they acquired Enso, a company that makes a pain relief device that uses electric impulses.

Enso users reported an average of 54% decrease in pain in just four weeks. 


Snapshot from US20220148296A1

Hinge Health owns the following patents for their musculoskeletal therapy tech and methodologies:

Patent ApplicationTitleStatus
US20220148296A1Method and system for symmetric recognition of handed activitiesActive
US20190251340A1Method and system for activity classificationActive
US8862238B2System and method for managing painActive
US10792495B2Neuromodulation device and method for useActive
US20210264144A1Human pose analysis system and methodPending
AU2022218177A1Patient-centered musculoskeletal (msk) care system and associated programs for therapies for different anatomical regionsPending
AU2020436769A1Method and system for matching 2D human poses from multiple viewsPending
CA3046609A1Method and system for extrinsic camera calibrationPending
CA3046612A1Method and system for monocular depth estimation of personsPending
US20220246268A1Patient-centered musculoskeletal (msk) care system and associated programs for therapies for different anatomical regionsPending
WO2022118061A1Object three-dimensional localization in images or videosPending
EP4121945A1Joint rotation inferences based on inverse kinematicsPending
WO2022269312A1Mechanical weight index maps for mesh riggingPending
CA3196012A1Three-dimensional mesh generator based on a two-dimensional imagePending
WO2022243739A1Pose parsersPending
WO2023281299A1Deriving insights into the motion of an object through computer visionPending
WO2023007215A1Two-dimensional pose estimationsPending
WO2022144594A1Object identifications in images or videosPending
WO2022090775A1Three-dimensional mesh generator based on two-dimensional imagePending
CA3172247A1Markerless motion capture of hands with multiple pose estimation enginesPending

Companies working on digital pain relief products can take Hinge Health’s ecosystem and industry knowledge to fast-track their way to building effective musculoskeletal healing solutions.

4. Podimetrics


Podimetrics is a Boston-based virtual care management company for diabetes patients to prevent foot complications. They’ve developed SmartMat™, an FDA-approved device that can scan patients’ feet in 20 seconds and detect early signs of inflammation right from people’s living rooms! The device can also send automatic reports and alerts to empower more informed decisions.

Led by Jon Bloom as CEO, Podimetrics has raised $98.3 million through seven funding rounds. 


They hold a multitude of patents for their solutions:

Patent ApplicationTitleStatus
US9271672B2Method and apparatus for indicating the emergence of an ulcerActive
JP6297696B2Device for measuring the temperature distribution in the sole of the footActive
EP3537957A4Ulcer detection apparatus and method with varying thresholdsPending
CN115243606ADevice and method for monitoring peripheral diabetic neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial diseasePending
US20220211277A1Method and apparatus of monitoring foot inflammationPending
US20230172471A1Apparatus and method of measuring blood flow in the footPending

Their expertise in detecting and tracking diabetes in patients across various stages of severity may greatly benefit companies looking to build a solution among their existing products for enhanced patient care at home.

5. Eight Sleep


Eight Sleep is certainly one of the most innovative solutions we’ve beheld, aiming to enhance sleep quality using technology. Founded in New York in 2014, the company has successfully raised over $162.1 million in funding. They make a specialized mattress called The Pod with an intelligent temperature control system using water!

It can automatically track your body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, among other metrics, and set different temperatures for either side, as each person prefers. The Pod has vibration-based and temperature-based alarm systems to wake you at a preset time.

Eight Sleep says their product helps you with deeper sleep, faster recovery, and elevated daytime energy levels.


They own the following patents to their name:

Patent ApplicationTitleStatus
US10792461B2Methods and systems for gathering and analyzing human biological signalsActive
US10105092B2Detecting sleeping disordersActive
US10154932B2Adjustable bed frame and operating methods for health monitoringActive
US20230054191A1Bed device system and methodsPending
WO2016182795A1Vibrating alarm system and operating methodsPending
US20200397379A1Systems and methods for detecting a biological signal of a user of an article of furnitureActive
US20200405998A1Sleep podPending
US20220063104A1The calibration method for the tool center point, the teaching method for the robotic arm, and the robotic arm system use the same.Pending

Their tech has the potential to be a pioneer in sleep tech. Many entrepreneurs, athletes, and top-level leaders like Elon Musk and health-tech CEO Bryan Johnson have spoken positively about this product. Acquiring this company can be a huge win for an organization looking to dominate the health-conscious elite economy.

It’s only a matter of time before Apple expands into these segments and enlists or acquires these product innovators into its ecosystem. Tapping into the innovative tech these startups offer can help companies like Samsung, Fitbit, etc., have the upper hand over Apple in the healthcare industry. Tracking the movements of such startups and their patents can thus be an excellent way for these companies to enter the market at the right time.


While we discussed only the MedTech startup partnerships and acquisitions in this article, this strategy is among the other key factors that enabled Apple to pioneer tech innovation and propelled it to be the multi-trillion dollar giant it is today. 

However, finding the right startup to meet your specific business needs can be challenging. You’d need to spend weeks of productive hours sorting through endless lists of seed phase companies with confusing business models.

That’s where GreyB can assist you. We have vast expertise in scouting & analyzing successful startups and innovators with the potential to take your company to new heights through strategic acquisition.

Contact us today, and let’s work out a solution per your needs!

Get in touch

Authored by: Hemanth Shenoy, Market Research

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