Changing Your Apple Watch or iPhone's Region Won't Enable ECG App Outside of United States

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Apple today released watchOS 5.1.2, which enables the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 models. However, as Apple made clear, the ECG app is currently only available in the United States and its territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, preventing it from being used internationally at this time.


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.

That's not the case with the the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4, though, as it only functions on models purchased in the United States. Those who live in and bought an Apple Watch in Canada, the UK, or elsewhere abroad can't use the region-switching trick to enable the ECG app -- it doesn't work.

Note that the ECG app requires an Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5.1.2, paired with an iPhone 5s or newer with iOS 12.1.1.

Both the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notifications are regulated features on the Apple Watch. Both features have been granted De Novo classification by the FDA for users 22 years and older in the United States. Apple says people already diagnosed with atrial fibrillation should not use the app.

It's unclear when the ECG app will expand to additional countries, but Apple Watch Series 4 models sold internationally do have the necessary electrical heart sensor. Apple is likely in the process of gaining clearance for the ECG app in other countries, but it has yet to comment on wider availability.

Article Link: Changing Your Apple Watch or iPhone's Region Won't Enable ECG App Outside of United States
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
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Thanks for putting this up, will save alot of frustration on the FYI sense - but lead to alot of frustration as well.

Guessing this will have to be done country by country dealing with national health care systems (that won't be slow will it?).
 
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JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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No surprise here. Apple's lawyers are already pretty backlogged dealing with Qualcomm and iPhone and MacBook class actions. Enabling ECG worldwide is just going to cause even more workload.
 
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aldanger99

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2018
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"That's not the case with the the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4, though, as it only functions on models purchased in the United States"

So this begs the question: can I just buy a series 4 while in the U.S. (I'm Canada based), bring it home and enjoy the feature? We used to do this with the original iPhone before Canada got them and have done so with lots of tech stuff in the past. If the unit itself is a U.S. model and I set my region to the U.S., which I have already done to get the Apple News App, will I be able to use the ECG feature? Might have to investigate this one with a trip south!
 

mgollaher92

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2016
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That's really a pity, what's the point that I got an ECG built-in Apple Watch 4? I'm from UK.
They were pretty clear it would be US only for the time being when they announced it. You can't just willy nilly sell something that performs ECG functionality because you feel like it. Looks like they had to do a lot of work for this to even be advertised as such in the US. Plus it's the first over the counter device of its kind that can do an ECG.
 

johnyslats

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Mar 14, 2012
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"That's not the case with the the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4, though, as it only functions on models purchased in the United States"

So this begs the question: can I just buy a series 4 while in the U.S. (I'm Canada based), bring it home and enjoy the feature? We used to do this with the original iPhone before Canada got them and have done so with lots of tech stuff in the past. If the unit itself is a U.S. model and I set my region to the U.S., which I have already done to get the Apple News App, will I be able to use the ECG feature? Might have to investigate this one with a trip south!
Yes. Seen a couple of users living outside the US who picked one up from the states and the region trick does indeed work.
 

MacWorld78

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
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They were pretty clear it would be US only for the time being when they announced it. You can't just willy nilly sell something that performs ECG functionality because you feel like it. Looks like they had to do a lot of work for this to even be advertised as such in the US. Plus it's the first over the counter device of its kind that can do an ECG.
Well, yes you are right my friend, however, Apple should’ve done that way reduce the price without ECG feature!

Why should I pay more something I can’t use it?
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,400
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Pay for something you cannot use even if you moved to the US because your watch was purchased elsewhere. Ridiculous. Doesn’t make sense.
Has anyone tried it with an internationally purchased watch while physically in the US?
[doublepost=1544127867][/doublepost]
Apparently you have to be at least 22 years of age, too.
Though that’s based on the honor system.
 
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johnyslats

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