Apple on Thursday released watchOS 5.1.2 for the Apple Watch. The update enables the ECG feature on the Apple Watch Series 4. However, the new feature is only available in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. International users don’t have access.
Many software features on Apple devices are initially limited to the United States, but international users have often been able to simply change their iPhone or Apple Watch region to the United States to gain access.
However, while Series 4 Watches sold outside the U.S. have the necessary hardware, changing the region on your Apple Watch Series 4 to a U.S. region will not enable the ECG feature. It will only function on Apple Watch devices purchased in the United States and its possessions. The region-switching trick doesn’t work for ECG.
The ECG app and its accompanying irregular heart rhythm notification features are regulated features. Both features have been granted De Novo classification by the FDA for users 22 years and older in the United States.
No schedule for ECG activation in other countries has been announced. However, it is likely that Apple is in the process of obtaining clearance for the ECG app in other regions.
We’ll keep you posted.