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Apple today announced [Google Translate] that electrocardiogram (ECG) and irregular heart rhythm notification features will be coming to the Apple Watch in South Korea as part of the upcoming iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 releases.

apple_watch_ecg.jpg

While Apple hasn't confirmed a release date for the updates, it appears to be imminent based on today's press release and the fact that a "Release Candidate" version of iOS 14.2 was pushed out to developer and public beta testers on Friday.

Word surfaced back in August that the ECG feature had received approval in South Korea, but it's taken a few additional months for Apple to prepare for its public release.

The ECG feature, which is now available in nearly 50 countries for Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6, allows users to directly measure electrical heart activity by simply placing their finger on the Digital Crown for 30 seconds. The irregular heart rhythm feature intermittently measures the user's heart rate in the background and sends a notification if it detects an anomaly it categorizes as atrial fibrillation, which can be a serious heart arrhythmia condition.

Both features are considered medical diagnostics, and so they require approval from regulators in each country where they are to be made available, a requirement that has slowed the rollout of the features.

Apple's new blood oxygen monitoring feature on the Apple Watch Series 6, in contrast, is considered a wellness feature rather than a medical diagnostic, and thus is not subject to significant regulatory scrutiny, which enabled Apple to offer it in more than 100 countries at launch.

Update:The ECG app for Apple Watch Series 4 and later will also be available in Russia with the release of iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1, reports Meduza.

Article Link: Apple Watch ECG Coming to South Korea With Imminent iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 Updates [Update: Russia Also]
 
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m1ni

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2020
14
26
I feel but could be wrong, but iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 should be coming this week as they will coincide with iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini
 
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Neilo

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2020
15
7
In before the onslaughts of Australians complaints. 🤣
I‘ve just registered a MacRumors account to come and complain about the same thing!

Tried to order the overseas version from Amazon US, but ordered was flagged as suspect and cancelled. Maybe because I was using a VPN. I might give BestBuy a try.
 
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insomniac86

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2015
507
752
Perth, Western Australia
I‘ve just registered a MacRumors account to come and complain about the same thing!

Tried to order the overseas version from Amazon US, but ordered was flagged as suspect and cancelled. Maybe because I was using a VPN. I might give BestBuy a try.
You can hack ECG on an Australian watch. Just google around.
 
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Neilo

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2020
15
7
You can hack ECG on an Australian watch. Just google around.
I’d already had a look and it seems there are three requirements to enable ECG.
  1. Linked iPhone is set to supported region
  2. Watch / phone polls nearest cell tower to geo check it’s in a supported area
  3. The watch was manufactured for a supported area
If I”ve understood correctly, it’s possible to hack round the first two constraints, but the watch itself still needs to come from a supported country / region. Even hacking an Aus watch would still fail as the watch region code reports it coming from an unsupported area.

There are a few hoops to jump through, but I’d like to have the ecg for health reasons. Also I’m not overly keen on paying for the included ecg hardware, in the Aus watch, when I don’t get the functionality.

https://reincubate.com/support/how-to/unlock-apple-watch-ecg/
 
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wesley96

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2009
347
270
In this particular instance, Samsung getting the government approval for similar features on its own smart watch offerings paved the way for Apple to get its own approval. It's a bit sad that the Koreans had to wait for Samsung to catch up to have the feature already available for 2 years to be enabled, but I guess it's better late than never.
 
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insomniac86

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2015
507
752
Perth, Western Australia
I’d already had a look and it seems there are three requirements to enable ECG.
  1. Linked iPhone is set to supported region
  2. Watch / phone polls nearest cell tower to geo check it’s in a supported area
  3. The watch was manufactured for a supported area
If I”ve understood correctly, it’s possible to hack round the first two constraints, but the watch itself still needs to come from a supported country / region. Even hacking an Aus watch would still fail as the watch region code reports it coming from an unsupported area.

There are a few hoops to jump through, but I’d like to have the ecg for health reasons. Also I’m not overly keen on paying for the included ecg hardware, in the Aus watch, when I don’t get the functionality.

https://reincubate.com/support/how-to/unlock-apple-watch-ecg/

As of iOS 13.5.1 (& 14) the region check is no longer made 🎉​

iOS 13.5.1 introduced an issue in iOS whereby the Watch purchase region check is no longer applied. As such, it's possible to unlock ECG on Watches paired with iOS devices running this version of iOS or above. This remains true of iOS 14.

We're expecting to update this in the near future, along with tips for enabling blood oxygen monitoring. In the meantime, please let us know any tricks or techniques you find — we'll share free licenses of our products for any good tips sent our way.
 
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Jacob Anderson 🇦🇺

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2020
44
29

As of iOS 13.5.1 (& 14) the region check is no longer made 🎉​

iOS 13.5.1 introduced an issue in iOS whereby the Watch purchase region check is no longer applied. As such, it's possible to unlock ECG on Watches paired with iOS devices running this version of iOS or above. This remains true of iOS 14.

We're expecting to update this in the near future, along with tips for enabling blood oxygen monitoring. In the meantime, please let us know any tricks or techniques you find — we'll share free licenses of our products for any good tips sent our way.
?
 
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abhibeckert

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
335
454
Cairns, Australia
Legislation around medical devices in Australia is currently under review, with the latest news from a few months ago being an announcement of delays due to resources being re-allocated to covid-19 which is obviously more important than having ECG on a smart watch.
 
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zz_nosa_r

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2015
226
133
Hell
As an Australian, i feel sad reading this kind of news.... we’ve been waiting for like forever, here, down under. Apple and TGA, ACCC (or whatever department needs to approve it) should really work this out.
 
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Neilo

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2020
15
7

As of iOS 13.5.1 (& 14) the region check is no longer made 🎉​

iOS 13.5.1 introduced an issue in iOS whereby the Watch purchase region check is no longer applied. As such, it's possible to unlock ECG on Watches paired with iOS devices running this version of iOS or above. This remains true of iOS 14.

We're expecting to update this in the near future, along with tips for enabling blood oxygen monitoring. In the meantime, please let us know any tricks or techniques you find — we'll share free licenses of our products for any good tips sent our way.
It looks like your reading comprehension is better than mine! I’d read through the article and still thought it was referring to the physical geo location of the watch that was no longer needed on iOS 14. On rereading it looks like you are correct.

I’ll probably buy locally now, I think the Melbourne stores came out of lockdown last week.

Thanks for the clarification! 🙏
 
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insomniac86

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2015
507
752
Perth, Western Australia
It looks like your reading comprehension is better than mine! I’d read through the article and still thought it was referring to the physical geo location of the watch that was no longer needed on iOS 14. On rereading it looks like you are correct.

I’ll probably buy locally now, I think the Melbourne stores came out of lockdown last week.

Thanks for the clarification! 🙏
I'm yet to do it on mine, but I know people on whirlpool have purchased apple watches here in Australia and had it hacked on. There's people offering to do the service for you on gumtree etc.
 
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Neilo

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2020
15
7
Legislation around medical devices in Australia is currently under review, with the latest news from a few months ago being an announcement of delays due to resources being re-allocated to covid-19 which is obviously more important than having ECG on a smart watch.

I don’t know if you’ve heard otherwise, but a recent Gizmodo post from just over a month ago has a quote from the TGA, stating that as of 21/09 there was no Apple Watch on the ARTG. They had earlier confirmed, in June of this year, that they hadn’t even received an application from Apple for review of the ECG. I guess it’s possible that an application for review has been made between June and now.

“As at 21 September 2020, there are no devices included on the ARTG relating to a watch or function manufactured by Apple,” a spokesperson for the TGA said to Gizmodo Australia.

While it declined to comment on whether an application was waiting in the wings to be processed, the TGA previously confirmed in June that it hadn’t received any applications from Apple regarding the watch.

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/09/...o-closer-to-getting-apple-watchs-ecg-feature/
 
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Demonic16

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2020
6
3
Russia, Moscow
If you read footnote 1 of press release it's clear that ECG also will be enabled in Russia.
On friday after release of iOS 14.2 Release Candidate "Health" app suggested me to install ECG app on Apple Watch! But it doesn't work on Apple Watch itself because it's not enabled on Beta 4 of watchOS 7.1.
 
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Neilo

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2020
15
7
I'm yet to do it on mine, but I know people on whirlpool have purchased apple watches here in Australia and had it hacked on. There's people offering to do the service for you on gumtree etc.
I’m reasonably savvy with these types of things and should be up to giving it a go. It doesn’t look much more involved than some of the earlier iPhone jailbreaks.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,131
10,721
Sunnyvale, CA
As an Australian, i feel sad reading this kind of news.... we’ve been waiting for like forever, here, down under. Apple and TGA, ACCC (or whatever department needs to approve it) should really work this out.
It’s TGA afaik, and they’re finally implementing new regulations on 25 February 2021 according to their website.

 
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whatgift

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2017
100
66
Australia
It’s TGA afaik, and they’re finally implementing new regulations on 25 February 2021 according to their website.

My understanding is that Apples method of getting ECG is not possible with the current Australian regulations, hence why Apple never applied for its registration as a medical device.

Hopefully these new measures can be sorted and us Australians can go back to complaining about all the things that that injure and kills us here (thankful that Magpie season is nearly over!).
 
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ani4ani

Cancelled
May 4, 2012
1,703
1,536
In this particular instance, Samsung getting the government approval for similar features on its own smart watch offerings paved the way for Apple to get its own approval. It's a bit sad that the Koreans had to wait for Samsung to catch up to have the feature already available for 2 years to be enabled, but I guess it's better late than never.

Pretty sad they Apple peddled this as a feature at a keynote [The feature!] and was clearly not available for the majority even now. "2 years later"
 
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wesley96

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2009
347
270
Pretty sad they Apple peddled this as a feature at a keynote [The feature!] and was clearly not available for the majority even now. "2 years later"
I don't think this is necessarily Apple's fault, though. Many countries have/had regulations on medical devices that did not take these sort of devices into account when they were enacted and these take time to change.
 
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