Apple confirms ECG app for smartwatch coming to Canada but timing isn’t known

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FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo the new Apple Watch 4 is on display at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. The latest Apple Watch, for instance, has several features that will be useful to the elderly and less-active individuals. That includes built-in EKG sensors so you can share detailed heart readings with your doctor without visiting a clinic. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Apple Inc. confirms that previously announced software that enables its latest smartwatch to perform electro-cardiograms has received Canadian approval but declines to predict when it will be available for download.

The company says in a statement to The Canadian Press that it will bring the heart health features of Apple Watch Series 4 to Canada “as quickly as possible” but a spokeswoman declined to provide an estimated time of arrival.

The statement follows a flurry of social media speculation after reports this week that Health Canada has approved the Apple Watch software for performing ECGs and providing notifications of irregular heart rhythms.

FILE- In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple Watch 4 at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. The new Apple Watch model, called Series 4, has built-in EKG sensors so you can share detailed heart readings with your doctor without visiting a clinic. Doctors get a PDF file showing the peaks and valleys of your heart rhythm, just as they would with an EKG on paper. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Apple executives said in September when the watch was officially announced that the features would be initially available in the United States and available in other countries as they received regulatory approvals.

A Health Canada representative said in an email Friday that the government agency’s medical device section has approved two Apple licences but referred questions about Canadian release dates to the manufacturer.

A person with knowledge of Apple’s procedures said on background that the heart features will be enabled in Canada when the company updates the watch’s operating system software but the timing of the update wasn’t known.

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