Apple Confirms ECG Functionality is Coming to Canada 'as Quickly as Possible'

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today told The Canadian Press that it is aiming to bring ECG functionality to Apple Watch Series 4 devices in Canada "as quickly as possible."

The news comes after Health Canada this month approved the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch Series 4, clearing the way for the features to be released in the country.


Health Canada classified the Apple Watch Series 4 as a Class II medical device, which places it in the "low-to-medium risk" category alongside other products like contact lenses.

Apple launched the ECG app in the United States in December as part of watchOS 5.1.2. It expanded to 19 European countries and Hong Kong in March 2019, and five additional European countries last week.

The ECG app is designed to allow Apple Watch Series 4 readers to place a finger on the Digital Crown to get a single-lead ECG reading, which can detect atrial fibrillation, a condition that can be indicative of major health problems. Irregular heart rhythm notifications are a separate feature, meant to let users know if an unusual heart rhythm is detected so medical attention can be sought.


Apple did not provide specific timing on when we can expect ECG and irregular heart rate notifications to be available in Canada, but it could perhaps come in the watchOS 5.3 update, which is being beta tested right now, or it could be incorporated into watchOS 6, which will be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 3.

Article Link: Apple Confirms ECG Functionality is Coming to Canada 'as Quickly as Possible'
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,170
5,911
Toronto, ON
Most importantly, having the entire Apple Watch classified as a Class II medical device, and not just the specific ECG sensor, makes it much easier to add additional medical sensors to it. Future sensors should be available at launch in Canada going forward.
 

amssullivan28

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2016
15
7
Gold Coast, Australia
As for Australia, nothing still on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) yet (part of the TGA, our medical devices regulator).

Guessing we’ll still be months away from the ECG functionality coming to Australia.

Have of course submitted feedback to Apple regarding this.

Great to see the ECG feature coming soon to Canada.
 

TVreporter

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2012
479
528
Near Toronto
Finally! Now I may purchase my first watch - my wife has a Fitbit and has been curious about AW but I said hold off until the ECG got sorted out.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,811
1,372
I get Apple has to be certified by different countries' health regulators... but with their money and influence you'd have thought they would at least have Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand approved before launch.
I don’t know why Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand should get special treatment. They aren’t even Apple’s largest market. Besides, it looks like they were tweaking the software right until the launch.i would much rather have a staggered release than no release for another year for a feature like this.
 

entropys

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2007
622
861
Brisbane, Australia
I don’t know why Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand should get special treatment. They aren’t even Apple’s largest market. Besides, it looks like they were tweaking the software right until the launch.i would much rather have a staggered release than no release for another year for a feature like this.
Because our regulatory, political and institutional systems are most similar. You know, the Anglosphere.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,811
1,372
Because our regulatory, political and institutional systems are most similar. You know, the Anglosphere.
Not doubting that, but I think the EU would have been prioritized if it came to launching with the largest customer base with the least regulatory hurdle for Apple.
 

WatchFromAfar

Suspended
Jan 26, 2017
1,588
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I get Apple has to be certified by different countries' health regulators... but with their money and influence you'd have thought they would at least have Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand approved before launch.
Because the UK has a National Health service it won't approve any nonsense a watch says with out a Doctors approval. The watch is a dumb toy
 
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nitramluap

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2015
231
513
I just wish they'd hurry up and approve it in Australia... now that it has CE certification it should be automatically accepted and not require additional TGA approval. The cynic in me thinks that the TGA will insist on special approval so they can take a chunk of Apple's cash, when it's absolutely unnecessary.
 
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mannyvel

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2019
461
778
Hillsboro, OR
The odd thing about "regulatory approval" is that the AW is better than nothing. That's the thing that people like the "Healthcare Professional" seem to not understand. You shouldn't be comparing the Apple Watch vs an 10-lead EKG, you should be comparing it against no information at all.

Only the bottom of the barrel healthcare professional would believe that no data is better than OK data.
 

IIGS User

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2019
235
433
As far as certification in different countries, and how that is obtained, I think it's hubris to assume a bunch of Macrumor postabouts have all the information as to the how, why and when all of that happens. I can see EU being a challenge due to language, or other regulations. Every country is a little different (We will assume EU as a country, given its political structure) Canada, Australia, US. One would assume the US would be first as Apple is a US company. Canada makes sense, about as similar to the US as you can get without being the US. But, vastly different in their approach to health care, and a bi lingual society by law. I'm sure there are regulatory and business restrictions none of us here fully understand. That's lawyer territory.

In the end, if you think it's a dopey toy, don't buy it. It's your money....
 
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