Apple Watch ECG Coming to South Korea With Imminent iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 Updates [Update: Russia Also]

Apple today announced [Google Translate] that electrocardiogram (ECG) and irregular heart rhythm notification features will be coming to the Apple Watch in South Korea as part of the upcoming iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 releases.

apple watch ecg
While Apple hasn't confirmed a release date for the updates, it appears to be imminent based on today's press release and the fact that a "Release Candidate" version of iOS 14.2 was pushed out to developer and public beta testers on Friday.

Word surfaced back in August that the ECG feature had received approval in South Korea, but it's taken a few additional months for Apple to prepare for its public release.

The ECG feature, which is now available in nearly 50 countries for Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6, allows users to directly measure electrical heart activity by simply placing their finger on the Digital Crown for 30 seconds. The irregular heart rhythm feature intermittently measures the user's heart rate in the background and sends a notification if it detects an anomaly it categorizes as atrial fibrillation, which can be a serious heart arrhythmia condition.

Both features are considered medical diagnostics, and so they require approval from regulators in each country where they are to be made available, a requirement that has slowed the rollout of the features.

Apple's new blood oxygen monitoring feature on the Apple Watch Series 6, in contrast, is considered a wellness feature rather than a medical diagnostic, and thus is not subject to significant regulatory scrutiny, which enabled Apple to offer it in more than 100 countries at launch.

Update:The ECG app for Apple Watch Series 4 and later will also be available in Russia with the release of iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1, reports Meduza.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 9, watchOS 10
Tag: ECG
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Programming

Top Rated Comments

matrix07 Avatar
43 months ago
In before the onslaughts of Australians complaints. ?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootLoxes Avatar
43 months ago
Now just bring it to Japan
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
whatgift Avatar
43 months ago

It’s TGA afaik, and they’re finally implementing new regulations on 25 February 2021 according to their website.

https://www.tga.gov.au/therapeutic-goods-legislation-amendment-2019-measures-no1-regulations-2019
My understanding is that Apples method of getting ECG is not possible with the current Australian regulations, hence why Apple never applied for its registration as a medical device.

Hopefully these new measures can be sorted and us Australians can go back to complaining about all the things that that injure and kills us here (thankful that Magpie season is nearly over!).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zanswer Avatar
43 months ago

Next it will be coming to kazicstan (or however it’s spelt) before coming to Australia.
Don't worry too much, You'll have a time to learn how to spell Kazakhstan properly, before Apple add ECG support for Australia. :)))
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wesley96 Avatar
43 months ago

Pretty sad they Apple peddled this as a feature at a keynote [The feature!] and was clearly not available for the majority even now. "2 years later"
I don't think this is necessarily Apple's fault, though. Many countries have/had regulations on medical devices that did not take these sort of devices into account when they were enacted and these take time to change.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
insomniac86 Avatar
43 months ago

I’d already had a look and it seems there are three requirements to enable ECG.
[LIST=1]
* Linked iPhone is set to supported region
* Watch / phone polls nearest cell tower to geo check it’s in a supported area
* The watch was manufactured for a supported area

If I”ve understood correctly, it’s possible to hack round the first two constraints, but the watch itself still needs to come from a supported country / region. Even hacking an Aus watch would still fail as the watch region code reports it coming from an unsupported area.

There are a few hoops to jump through, but I’d like to have the ecg for health reasons. Also I’m not overly keen on paying for the included ecg hardware, in the Aus watch, when I don’t get the functionality.

https://reincubate.com/support/how-to/unlock-apple-watch-ecg/
[HEADING=3]As of iOS 13.5.1 (& 14) the region check is no longer made ?[/HEADING]
iOS 13.5.1 introduced an issue in iOS whereby the Watch purchase region check is no longer applied. As such, it's possible to unlock ECG on Watches paired with iOS devices running this version of iOS or above. This remains true of iOS 14.

We're expecting to update this in the near future, along with tips for enabling blood oxygen monitoring. In the meantime, please let us know any tricks or techniques you find — we'll share free licenses of our products for any good tips sent our way.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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