Apple Watch ECG app arriving in Canada soon following health regulator's approval

in Apple Watch
Owners of the Apple Watch Series 4 in Canada could be able to use the ECG app to monitor their heart in the near future, after regulator Health Canada has approved the wearable device's electrocardiogram and irregular rhythm notification features.

The ECG app is arguably the standout feature of the most recent model of Apple Watch, allowing users to quickly record their heart beat via a 30-second electrocardiogram to determine if there are any signs of atrial fibrillation. So far the feature is available to users in the United States as well as Hong Kong and select European countries, but may soon be arriving in Canada.

Government agency Health Canada issued two licenses to Apple for two separate but related functions on the Apple Watch on May 16, reports iPhoneinCanada. The listed "first issue" date is likely to have been decided to allow the news of the licenses to be undiscovered until after the long Victoria Day weekend.

License number 102864 relates to the "ECG App," the filing states, while number 102866 is for the "Irregular Rhythm Notification Feature." While the former is specifically meant for the Series 4 version of the Apple Watch, the irregular rhythm notifications are available on earlier models as well, as they do not require the extra hardware needed for a full ECG.

While the licenses mean the features have gained approval for use in Canada, it isn't a sign of imminent availability. Apple has to enable the functions for Canadian users, a process that could take minutes or even weeks.

Apple has reportedly been working with Health Canada to enable ECG support since September, though in December the agency advised on Twitter it had "not received an application for the Apple Watch Series 4" at all, something that it maintained until March. It is unclear exactly when Apple applied to Health Canada for approval, nor how long the regulator took to approve the features.

Since the launch of the ECG feature in the various markets, it has been credited with helping save lives of many users, with the initial notification of atrial fibrillation prompting further investigations with healthcare professionals confirming the diagnosis.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    Great. It was one of the things I've been waiting for.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Strange, because Apple Watch has no (full) ECG function.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    boxcatcherboxcatcher Posts: 267member
    All the software revisions and hardware upgrades have finally made this safe enough for Canadian regulators!


    It's amazing there isn't an international standards body to expedite rollout of this sort of thing -- granted, I'm sure that's much easier said than done.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,291member
    Finally! Boy is this gonna kickstart (already healthy) sales in Canada of the Apple Watch 4. It’s a pity Health Canada took so long to approve this, but Apple is going through that exact same bureaucratic process in many other countries too.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,570member
    To be fair, we don't know if it was Apple or Health Canada that caused this delay.

    To be honest, we aren't likely to buy the Watch v4 8 months into its 12-month lifetime.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    dlorsch dlorsch Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
     Well here we are the end of June heading into July and still no ECG function on the Apple Watch series 4 in Canada. I wonder when Apple is going to activate this software ?

  • Reply 7 of 8
    Watch OS 5.3 arrived today with ecg for Canada
    Installed on series 4, phone SE is iOS 12.4
    attempted to set up ecg, comes up to update watch.
    Anyone else having this issue
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Unpaired watch, repaired as new watch.
    Worked, took first ecg.

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