Apple Watch ECG feature not arriving in Canada anytime soon

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Are you in Canada and looking for the ECG feature of the Apple Watch? You may be in for a long wait.

In response to a query on Twitter asking if the approval process has commenced to allow the ECG function to work, government agency Health Canada advised it "has not received an application for the Apple Watch Series 4" at all.

The regulator's response also appears to lay the blame at the lack of progress at Apple's door, noting "The decision to submit a medical device license application rests with the manufacturer."

ECG monitoring is typically only performed by hardware provided to medical professionals and healthcare providers, and are typically prevented from being provided to the general public. For it to be available to use by consumers, the Apple Watch has to receive regulatory approval for the Apple Watch Series 4 on a country-by-country basis.

The feature is available in the United States after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared it for sale, making the smartwatch the first consumer device to do so without requiring medical review. While not available at launch, the ECG app was enabled for users in the U.S. as part of the watchOS 5.1.2 update on Thursday.

Apple has already advised it intends to bring the function to other Apple Watch Series 4 users, but doing so involves passing regulatory muster in each market, a process that can take a considerable amount of time.

Shortly after its availability, the ECG function has already proved itself to be a life-saver, with cardiologists noticing an uptick in patients directly as a result of its availability.


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