Apple and Health Canada are working together to bring the Apple Watch Series 4’s ECG functionality to the Canadian market. This news comes from MobileSyrup, which says there has been no timeframe announced on when this could occur.
The technology, perhaps the most important new feature on the wearable device, using an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using a new app. From here, you need to touch the watch’s Digital Crown for 30 seconds before receiving a heart rhythm classification. This information will tell you whether it detected a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation or AFib, which is a heart condition that could lead to significant problems.
Data collected through the ECG app is automatically sent to the Apple Health app. You can share this information with your doctor by sending a PDF.
The Apple Watch Series 4 arrives on the market in many countries tomorrow, Sept. 21. The new ECG feature isn’t set to launch until later this year through a software update. Even then, however, it’s only expected to arrive in the United States where it has received de novo classification by the FDA.
MobileSyrup says Health Canada is likely to take “cues from the FDA” in the approval process. However, it notes the Canadian regulatory body is sometimes more cautious.
While this is great news for Canadians, it also shows that the ECG tool can’t launch in countries until it’s approved there. This could prove to be a long process. Perhaps once the U.S. and Canada are onboard, other nations will quickly follow.