Update Dec. 6/18: with the release of watchOS 5.1.2, the ECG app was made available for customers in the United States. Canadians cannot use the feature as it’s hardware limited.
Apple Watch Series 4 comes with a new feature to read your heart’s electrical signals, allowing the device’s Digital Crown electrode and back crystal electrode to generate “an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram.”
Apple says this “a momentous achievement for a wearable device that can provide critical real-time data for doctors and peace of mind for you.”
While the ECG capabilities are impressive, the feature has only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA and not Canadian authorities—so that means we won’t have access to this feature when the wearable launches in Canada.
The Apple Canada website makes no mention of the ECG feature, unlike Apple.com. Below, you can see the first features mentioned for Apple Watch Series 4 on Apple.ca:
Whereas the first feature on Apple.com details the ECG feature:
The ECG feature on Apple Watch will read electrical heart impulses in your fingertip via the Digital Crown and through the back of the watch, via “an ultrathin chromium silicon carbon nitride layer applied to the sapphire crystal.”
According to Apple, “With the ECG app, Apple Watch Series 4 can read and record these impulses by connecting the circuit between your heart and both arms. The resulting ECG waveform, its classification, and any notes you’ve entered on related symptoms are automatically stored in the Health app on your iPhone. You can share them with your doctor and have a better-informed conversation about your health.”
Apple says the “ECG app coming later this year (US only),” in its press release for Apple Watch Series 4.
When will Canadians gain access to the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4? There’s no word, but you can bet Apple already has discussions underway with Health Canada.
If you were thinking of buying Apple Watch Series 4 for the ECG app in Canada, think again. We will have to wait for it to land here like we are for Apple News and Apple Pay Cash.
Even without the ECG, Apple Watch Series 4 includes new watch faces, low and high heart rate notifications, fall detection and Emergency SOS plus larger screens at 40mm and 44mm.