When Apple first unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4, many non-U.S. customers were bummed to know that the wearable’s ECG feature would not work outside of the United States. Apple on its part made it clear that the ECG feature would roll out to more countries as and when it receives clearance from FDA-like authority in various countries.
As it turns out, Apple is not placing any hardware lock on the ECG feature of the Apple Watch Series 4. This means that the feature can be enabled by simply changing the region of the Apple Watch and the connected iPhone to the United States. This is as simple as going to Settings -> General -> Language & Region -> Region and changing it to the United States. The flip side? The date and time format, currency, and other formats will change to the United States as well. But then you can at least get to enjoy the ECG feature on your Apple Watch once the feature is live.
While Apple started selling the Apple Watch Series 4 from late last month, the ECG feature of the wearable is not yet active. It is coming later this year along with a new companion ECG app.
Do note that this information is based on some snippets of pre-release software so it is entirely possible that Apple ends up applying a different kind of hardware lock on the ECG feature of the Apple Watch Series 4 outside of the United States. A software limitation makes more sense than a hardware limitation here though since it would allow Apple to enable the feature just as easily in various regions once it receives the necessary clearance.