Bug delays Apple's HealthKit launch, partners' updated iOS 8 apps

By Brian Dolan
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Epic hospitals HealthkitAlong with the official launch of the new iOS 8 operating system yesterday, a large number of health and medical app developers intended to launch apps that integrated with Apple's HealthKit platform. However, because of a bug in HealthKit that Apple apparently discovered at the last minute, the iPhone-maker did not grant approval to any updated health app that integrated with HealthKit.

“We discovered a bug that prevents us from making HealthKit apps available on iOS 8 today," Apple said in a statement. "We’re working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month.”

While Apple indicated that it expects the bug to be fixed within the next two weeks, the failure to launch such a high-profile initiative on time is embarrassing for the tech giant. Apple hasn't given any clues about the nature of the bug that is causing the hold up.

Apple first announced HealthKit at its developer conference in June. 

“Developers have created a vast array of healthcare devices and accompanying applications, everything from monitoring your activity level, to your heart rate, to your weight, and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.” Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said at the time. “But up until now the information gathered by those applications lives in silos. You can’t get a single comprehensive picture of your health situation. But now you can, with HealthKit. HealthKit provides a single place that applications can contribute to a composite profile of your activity and health.”

The platform also feeds health and fitness data into the consumer-facing app, Health, which is pre-loaded on all Apple devices moving forward.

“With Health, you can monitor all of the metrics you’re most interested and your activity, but not just that,” Federighi explained back in June. “You can use third-party applications. Now we carefully protect your privacy, so you have total control over which applications have access to your health information. But you can of course provide different activity, weight, heart rate information to the Nike app. And Nike’s working to integrate HealthKit, so they use that information to help you in your personalized fitness goals.”