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Apple Watch Series 4 finally gets ECG feature but you can’t use it in Malaysia

One of the best features of the new Apple Watch Series 4 is its ability to take ECG (electrocardiogram) readings directly from your wrist. This could be a life saving feature as it can detect signs of atrial fibrillation. 

When the new Watch went on sale, the ECG feature wasn’t available out of the box. Now Apple has pushed its new watchOS 5.1.2 update which enables the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification. 

To enable this feature, Apple had worked closely with the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in order to receive a De Novo classification for the ECG app and the irregular heart rhythm notification. According to Apple, a study has found the ECG app on the Apple Watch had demonstrated a 98.3% sensitivity in classifying AFib and 99.6% specificity in classifying sinus rhythm in classifiable recordings. The study also found 87.8% of the recordings can be classified by the ECG app.

Unfortunately, this ECG feature is only available for Apple Watch Series 4 users in the US and you can’t use it in other countries including Malaysia just yet. Apple would need to obtain approval from our local authorities before they could enable it for Malaysian users. We still don’t know when the feature will be approved for Malaysia. 

In case you’re wondering, changing your region settings to the US would not enable the feature on your locally purchased Apple Watch. While this trick works on other Apple features, the ECG app is enabled strictly on units purchased in the US at the moment. 

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Alexander Wong