WARNING : APPLE iWATCH ECG not working in South America and in many countries.

That's my story: thank you for judging for yourself.

1. I have been working with Apple computers since 1989. I am very satisfied with their products, so I buy with confidence.
2. I am 81 years old.
3. My cardiologist advises me to buy an iWatch to record my electrocardiograms and send them to him when I am abroad.
    it is therefore vital health info. 
4. I go to Apple Brussels (mid 2019) and buy an Apple iWatch. I am not warned of any "default", "limitations".
5. in Brussels the iWatch ECG works well.
6. But I am often abroad.
7. Surprisingly, in South America, the ECG function (for which I bought the watch at the recommendation of my cardiologist) does not work!
8. I contact Apple, who tells me that the list of countries where this function exists is on the Apple website
   As if the customer buying a watch had to look at the producer's website to find out where the watch shows the time on this planet.
 9. When I ask Apple why nothing is written on the box and why the seller did not report this defect to me, Apple says:
    ECP app availability, while I know this information is needed
    Apple Retail Stores may not proactively discuss this with the Customer, as there will be some employees
   customers will be traveling to different regions. However, our full list of app availability is listed in our website:

 Judge by yourselves.

Take care and good day to you all, 



by Pacer2019 - 2019-11-29 15:47:11

Is the watch an Apple 🍎 5 ?

any fix coming ?

Is the watch an Apple 🍎 5 ?

by Sybarite - 2019-11-29 16:17:45

The one I have is the iWatch 4. But the iWatch 5 have the same problem ; the ECG will not work in many countries outside USA and Europe. if I understand correctly, it is the countries concerned that should give OK to Apple for this data exchange.
Anyway it is up to Apple to indicate this problem on the box, so that the customer can decide the purchase or not.
I specifically bought this iWatch for its ECG function
while where I find myself it does not work.
I have an iWatch of 450 euros in a drawer.

Best regards,

Caveat emptor Apple

by Gotrhythm - 2019-11-29 16:24:47

I too have often found Apple products to be over-sold. Not that they're not good. But they aren't always as good as they are hyped to be. And sometimes, although Apple is good, other products are better.

Unfortuantely, over-zealous salespeople will represent Apple as being able to do things, when the truth is, the salesperson doesn't know. But, hey, it's an Apple.

I hope you will post a review, saying just what you said in point 7, on both Apple's website and Amazon's.

We can't let companies get away with putting the fine print only on their website.

Wouldn't trust an iWatch

by AgentX86 - 2019-11-29 20:25:10

The Kardia Mobile is a much better solution.  The new one can do a six-lead EKG (much better than single lead EKG the old KM or iWatchare limited to).  I don't believe it has a geography limitation, either.

The iWatch has some other severe limitations too.  I believe it will only detect AF up to 140bpm - not nearly high enough to be widely useful.  Neither will automatically detect an arrhythia other than AF, though the KM may say it's possible AF (ti-state NSR / AF / ?).

Kardia Mobile

by Pacer2019 - 2019-11-29 21:24:33

I just looked up the Kardia Mobile and noticed mention of us with a pacemaker . See below where it mentions use with pacemakers and ICDs : 


Works with most smartphones & tablets on Android & iOS. Check if your smartphone is compatible. KardiaMobile is not tested or recommended for use with pacemakers and ICDs.

Includes KardiaMobile phone clip.

Eligible for purchase using an HSA or FSA account (please confirm coverage with your insurance provider).

Reviews etc.

by Bionic Beat - 2019-11-29 22:08:43

Whenever I purchase something, I check out the product on the internet or through Consumers Reports.  Not only for my sake but to see how others found the product as well and any 'problems'.


Perhaps it depends where in South America you are, perhaps not but I dont think its possible for Apple salestaff to cover every problem that might occur with their products for each customer.


As for expecting computer 'stuff' to work everywhere?  If I were you, I'd want my money back and I would certainly tell that doctor to not send people off to buy products that HE/SHE does not know well.


I have used Apple products (but not a watch) for decades and love them.  Almost problem free is my experience but I would not rely on them to send ECGs.  The local hospital can do one and send it to your doctor.  Hope that solves your problem.





Kardia Mobile (+pacemaker)

by AgentX86 - 2019-11-30 00:01:12

Yes, there is a disclaimer for those with a pacemaker.  the issue is that the pacing spikes can confuse the automatic Afib detection so it may not be reliable.  It's really easy to spot Afib on the EKG (flutter, not so much) and most cardiologists welcome the additional information. It worked for me, though.  Since my PVCs are all but gone, I haven't used mine so gave it to my son who was just diagnosed with Afib (I told him he comes by it naturally).

You know you're wired when...

You have a maintenance schedule just like your car.

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Yesterday I moved to a new place in my mind and realized how bad I felt 'before' and the difference my pacemaker has made.