iOS 8 health app

Apple will soon issue a software update that will temporarily remove the ability to track blood glucose levels in iOS 8’s Health app following reports from users in the United Kingdom and Australia that the software is incompatible with standard measurements in these countries, Cnet reported Wednesday evening.

Existing blood glucose data won’t be deleted from users’ devices, said Apple in a support document detailing the issue. “Third-party apps will continue to be able to support both units of measurement and can continue to use HealthKit APIs to store blood glucose data,” reads the document.

A fix for the issue is being worked on and will be released in due time. Once the patch has been released, the previous blood sugar data will reappear in the Health app.

The issue stems from the differences between measurement standards used in the United States and other countries. A bug that exists in the HealthKit framework currently prevents users in the United Kingdom and Australia from manually entering blood sugar levels taken from an external device using millimoles per litre (mmol/L) measurements used in these and other countries.

This is because Health in iOS 8 only supports blood glucose values in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

“To prevent confusion in countries where mmol/L is commonly used, we’ll soon release a software update that will temporarily remove the ability to manually enter and view blood glucose values in the Health app while we work on an update to support both units of measurement,” according to Apple’s support document.

It was unclear at press time whether blood-tracking features will be removed from the Health app in the iOS 8.0.3 or iOS 8.1 software update.

“If you have previously entered values manually in the Health app, you’ll no longer see this data in the Health app after the update,” cautions the firm. “However, your data won’t be deleted, and other apps with permission to read health data will still have access to blood glucose values that you previously entered”.

[Cnet, Apple Support]

  • Paco Lopez Garcia-Sanz

    It is an easy enough matter. To convert from one unit system to the other and back, just use the following formula:

    mg/dL x 0.0555 = mmol/L
    mmol/L x 18.0182 = mg/dL

  • pegger1

    Is it just me or are these two statements contradictory? Does it support mmol/L or doesn’t it?

    – “currently prevents users… from manually entering blood sugar levels…using millimoles per litre (mmol/L) measurements.”

    “This is because Health in iOS 8 only supports blood glucose values in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L).”

    • Olive D

      It just means that any number you enter into the “Blood Glucose” field will be interpreted by the software as an mg/dL value. It’s like a brilliant weight tracking program that only understands pounds, not kilograms.

  • Lol at the fact none of Apples health experts spotted this until now. How did this issue not come up sooner? Surely when you build software that works with various different unit measurements around the world you take the time to sit down and plan how it will work and with what units in what countries and allow the user to change the units should they desire…

    • Berry__Suuuuuuucks

      This is a non issue to anyone with a brain. They’re only fixing it for the brain dead that can’t convert anything.

      • Yes it is an issue because you, I and anyone shouldn’t have to convert things. I could convert between fahrenheit and Celsius if I had to but why should I have to? Apple could have quite easily have programmed the Health app to use multiple units and they should have. You shouldn’t have to perform calculations each and every time you want to input values into the health app…

      • Berry__Suuuuuuucks

        As a diabetic, it’s as easy as converting units of temperature, or for that matter speed limit signs. Basically second nature.

      • @dongiuj

        Disagree. The main POINT is that this was introduced in an OS update (update that is supposed to be an improvement but is anything but an improvement) also used as a selling point for the latest devices sold ALL OVER THE WORLD so it needs to be done…what is it that fanboys say?…”right” I believe the phrase is.
        In my opinion, apple is getting lazy/sloppy compared to the early days of iOS and just relying on its loyal followers to back it up.

      • Olive D

        Someone used to interpreting the numbers on a speedometer as miles per hour may know how to convert the numbers to kilometres per hour, yet cars have both scales on the speedometer.

        Any thermostat made in the US for sale abroad has a switch for displaying temperatures in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, even though the conversion formula is even easier than converting blood glucose values.

        Can you grasp why this might be?

        If you’re American, would you be happy using a thermometer that only gave results in Celsius? Would you be satisfied with a car that only showed your speed in kph?

        You may not be brain dead, but it’s a good thing you’re not in charge of designing products like this. Or (gulp) are you?

  • Andrew Roth

    Rather than fixing the feature, we’re going to remove it until we decide to fix it.

    • Olive D

      I think they’ll fix it, but removing it temporarily is a good idea because it’s a potential health risk that might even put Apple in a position of legal liability.

  • Olive D

    This is also an issue for Canadian users. How do you get put in charge of developing a Health Kit for iOS 8 and not know that countries outside the US don’t use mg/dL to measure blood glucose? Sorta boggles the mind.

  • Mark

    Its unfortunate I didn’t see this before I upgraded to 8.1. As a diabetic noob I found it much more handy to track than keeping up with my old pen and paper log.