Apple Watch gets approval in South Korea for ECG feature

Apple Watch Heart Rate sensors and VO2 Max

Apple obtained approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) in South Korea regarding its electrocardiogram (ECG) application.


ECG comes to Apple Watch in Korea…finally!

Users in South Korea will now be able to use the ECG feature on their Apple Watch.

Apple Watch ECG approved in South Korea
Image credit: etnews

Apple’s “irregular heartbeat alarm feature” measures and analyzes one’s pulse through a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor that is installed in Apple Watch.

It looks for a sign of an irregular heartbeat that is suspected of atrial fibrillation and alerts users.

According to etnews, where this story was originally revealed, it is expected that Apple Watch’s ECG application will also be widely used in South Korea as Apple obtained approval from the MFDS.

Apple will be able to provide the service after a simple update to the application since it already completed every prerequisite including adding a Korean version to the application.

The ECG app and irregular heart rhythm detection notification feature were released in the US way back in 2018.

Originally, the feature was only available on Apple Watch Series 4 in the US, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands when it was released.

Here are the countries where the aFib notification feature is currently available.

Apple Watch Afib notification feature availability

It is surprising that it is taking this long for Apple to obtain approvals in other countries and roll out the feature in different geographies.

Apple is not unique when it comes to MFDS delays in South Korea.

The ECG sensor on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has gone unused for the better part of a year. Samsung received approval to use the ECG feature for measuring heart rhythms from South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in May 2020.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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