The Apple Watch’s ECG feature is coming to additional countries very soon. Apple on Tuesday seeded the watchOS 7.4 release candidate to developers for testing, and in the process revealed that new countries would soon get the ECG functionality on their watches.
The public version of watchOS 7.4 will be released alongside iOS 14.5 next week. Apple Watch users in Australia and Vietnam who install it will gain the ECG functionality. The expansion is mentioned in the release notes for the watchOS 7.4 RC.
From the watchOS 7.4 Release Candidate release notes:
watchOS 7.4 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes, including:
- Ability to unlock your iPhone X and later with Apple Watch when you attempt to use Face ID while wearing a face mask
- Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
- Ability to stream audio and video content from Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices
- Support for the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later in Australia and Vietnam
- Support for irregular heart rhythm notifications in Australia and Vietnam
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:https://support.apple.com/HT201222
ECG is categorized as a medical diagnostic, meaning it requires approval from regulators in each country where Apple wants to make it available to users. That requirement means it has taken quite awhile to get the feature rolled out to all countries.
Back in March, The Australian government granted regulatory approval for the Apple Watch’s ECG functionality, giving Apple the okay to launch the feature in the country. The approval came via a regulatory document.
The Apple Watch’s ECG functionality is currently available in 63 countries for Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6 devices. The feature allows a user to place their finger on the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown and in 30 seconds have a reading that can be sent to a user’s doctor if the results are anything but normal sinus rhythm.
Apple’s ECG feature first debuted alongside the release of the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018 and has been slowly gaining government approval around the globe.