Apple released its new iOS 8 operating platform on Wednesday, sans one highly-anticipated piece: HealthKit. Rumors have been circulating that technical glitches would delay the launch of the health data gathering and sharing platform; on Wednesday, Apple told Reuters that it is "working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month."
But Apple hasn't just delayed the release of HealthKit. It has also yanked some HealthKit-compatible apps, like MyFitnessPal and Carrot Fit. Although the tweet has since been removed, Carrot Fit developer Brian Mueller tweeted on Wednesday: "Well that's a relief. Just got a call from Apple, there's nothing wrong with CARROT Fit. HealthKit is just broken and isn't ready to launch." Then, shortly after, he added: "Sounds like HealthKit won't be working at all this week. And there's no ETA for when a bug fix will go live."
There's been a few aspersions cast on Apple's ability to successfully protect the private health information of its users in the wake of the recent system hack that exposed a few private photos of Jennifer Lawrence. So perhaps they are still ironing out some kinks.
Still, EMR giant Epic doesn't seem to be backing off. Spokesman Brian Spranger offered a few more details as to how the company's MyChart application would integrate with HealthKit:
"If the patient has given permission for the MyChart app on their phone to know about that data, HealthKit 'wakes up' the MyChart app and tells it there's new data," Spranger said. "The MyChart app on the phone then transmits that weight back to the EpicCare EHR system where it can be used appropriately as part of the patient's medical care."
HealthKit is also set to be part of trials focusing on childhood diabetes with Stanford University Hospital and cancer and heart disease at Duke University. Other medical device makers are reportedly in talks with Apple and the providers to participate in the trials. According a company spokesperson, DexCom Inc.'s blood sugar monitoring equipment is talking with Apple, Stanford and the Food and Drug Administration about integrating with HealthKit. At the trial at Stanford, young Type 1-diabetes patients will be sent home with an iPod touch to monitor blood sugar levels between visits. DexCom would send information to HealthKit which could then be uploaded into Epic's MyChart, where physicians can access the data and track patients' blood sugar levels over time.
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