China has officially approved the Apple Watch electrocardiogram (ECG) feature that first arrived with the Series 4 wearable. The regulatory green light means Apple could launch the functionality with a software update for users in the country any time now.

Apple announced its ECG feature along with Apple Watch Series 4 back in the fall of 2018 with the capability actually rolling out in the US in December 2018. Apple Watch ECG has slowly continued to roll out to more countries over the last few years with Australia and Vietnam gaining it with watchOS 7.4.

Apple Watch ECG on Series 4 and later can detect atrial fibrillation (Afib) and has proven to be accurate enough to have been credited with saving lives in many cases over recent years.

Spotted by MacRumors, China’s National Medical Products Administration has revealed that Apple Watch ECG has been approved in the country this week. That gives the green light to Apple to launch the feature any time.

We’ve seen one case of ECGs working for Apple Watch in China (via ITHome) while running the watchOS 8 beta 2. However, it’s not clear if that could be someone who bought an Apple Watch in a region where ECGs are already approved and is now using it in China.

Time will tell if Apple will wait until this fall to bring the functionality to China or if it will come sooner.

Electrocardiograms work in watchOS through the dedicated ECG app on Apple Watch. To set up the feature for the first time, you typically need to open the Apple Watch app on iPhone, choose My Watch > Heart > and tap the ECG setup option.

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.