Owners of Apple Watch Series 4 in Canada could use the ECG app to monitor their heart in the near future, after that regulator Health Canada has approved the portable device's electrocardiogram and irregular rhythm warning features.
The ECG app is undoubtedly the standout feature of the latest model of Apple Watch, allowing users to quickly detect their heartbeats via a 30 second electrocardiogram to determine if there are signs of atrial fibrillation. So far, the feature is available to users in the US and Hong Kong and selects European countries, but may soon arrive in Canada.
Government Agency Health Canada issued two licenses to Apple for two separate but related features on Apple Watch on May 16, iPhoneinCanada . The listed "first issue date" is likely to allow the news of the licenses to be undetected after the long Victoria Day weekend.
License number 102864 applies to "ECG application", filing status, while number 102866 is for "Irregular rhythm notification function." While previously specifically intended for the Series 4 version of Apple Watch, the irregular rhythm alerts are also available on previous models, as they do not require additional hardware needed for a full ECG.
Although the licenses mean that the features have been approved for use in Canada, it is not a sign of immediate availability. Apple needs to activate the features of Canadian users, a process that can take minutes or even weeks.
Apple has reportedly been working with Health Canada to activate ECG support since September, but in December, the agency informed Twitter that it had not received an Apple Watch Series 4 application, which it maintained until March. It is unclear exactly when Apple applied for Health Canada for approval, nor how long the regulator took to approve the features.
Since the launch of the ECG function in the various markets, it has been credited with saving lives for many users, with the first alert of atrial fibrillation, resulting in further investigations by healthcare professionals confirming the diagnosis.