Apple prompted many oohs and ahhs when it unveiled its electrocardiogram (ECG) feature for Apple Watch Series 4 in September. At the time, the impressive technical feat was bolstered by the FDA approval Apple had received for this new health feature.
But Apple fans outside of the U.S. may have to wait a bit longer for the ECG feature, which hasn’t rolled out yet. And when it does, 9to5Mac reports that availability will reportedly be limited to the U.S., based on code spotted in iOS.
The limitation makes sense: an ECG is a medical feature, and therefore would need approval from any particular country’s health body. It appears this isn’t a case of “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.”
But 9to5Mac says the limitation is governed by software, not hardware. No matter where you are, the Apple Watch Series 4 will come with the sensors that enable the ECG.
What’s more, if you’re outside of the U.S., there should theoretically be an easy way to get access to the ECG. All you have to do is go to your Apple Watch’s Settings and change your region to the U.S.A. However, that will also probably mess with the date, time, and weather alerts as well. But if you’re abroad with your new Watch and just need a quick heart reading, you may be able to deliver your own, uh, bypass.
Of course, none of this is to say how accurate or effective the ECG feature is. We’ll only be able to gauge that when it’s available, and so far Apple hasn’t given a date.