Though the Apple Watch Series 4’s Electrocardiography (ECG) feature is now widely available across the United States, it remains unclear when the functionality will make its way to Canada.
According to a recent tweet from Health Canada’s official Twitter account, it looks like the functionality isn’t launching here anytime soon.
Hi Gary. To date, Health Canada has not received an application for the Apple Watch Series 4 with the EKG feature. The decision to submit a medical device licence application rests with the manufacturer.
— GovCanHealth (@GovCanHealth) December 7, 2018
Health Canada states that the regulatory body hasn’t received a medical license application from Apple regarding the feature’s release in the Canadian market. Back when my Apple Watch Series 4 review was first published, I was told by the Cupertino, California-based company that ECG would likely launch at some point in 2018, though that no longer seems to be the case.
Typically, ECG monitoring is only available to medical professionals and healthcare providers. The Apple Watch Series 4 is one of the first widely available consumer devices to include ECG heart monitoring.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which Health Canada often takes cues from, approved the feature a few months ago. ECG recently released for the Apple Watch Series 4 as part of the smartwatch’s watchOS 5.1.2 update, but only in the United States.
Further, it also looks like the wearable’s ECG functionality is region-locked to the United States. This means that changing the smartwatch’s region won’t give Canadians access to the feature.