The ECG feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 was one of the highlights of the September 12 Apple press event, but as many people were sad to find out shortly after the conference, it wasn’t available for the public rollout at that time.
And while Apple said the feature would land for the new Apple Watch at a later time as part of a software update, it looks like work in this regard is approaching the end, and the release could happen in the coming weeks when watchOS 5.1.2 goes live.
According to a MacRumors report, Apple has prepared Apple Store training documents that provide instructions for employees, including a mandatory recommendation that staff should offer to customers that ECG “is not intended to be a diagnostic device or to replace traditional methods of diagnosis [and] should not be used to monitor or track disease state or change medication without first talking to a doctor.”
iOS 12.1.1 or newer will be required
ECG will be offered to Apple Watch Series 4 users as a standalone app, and the collected data is then transferred to the Health app on an iPhone.
The same documents indicate that iOS 12.1.1 and iPhone 5s or newer will be required. This particular iOS version is currently in beta testing, but it should be released alongside watchOS 5.1.2.
However, it’s important to know that ECG won’t be available across the world, but only in the United States where it has already received FDA approval. Before launching it in other countries, Apple needs the clearance from local health organizations, and it’s believed that the company is currently in talks with other regulators worldwide on getting the go-ahead.
There are no specifics available right now as to when the watchOS update could go live, but given it’s been in beta for three weeks, the rollout could happen as soon as the next week.