Apple Watch Series 4: How to Get New Heart Rate Monitor Outside of the U.S.

Don't wait to test out the feature.

The Apple Watch Series 4 launched touting a medical-grade capability that greatly improved how it tracks its users’ heart rate. But this electrocardiogram (EKG) feature has yet to be rolled out and required FDA clearance. People outside the United States have to wait even longer to test-drive the Series 4’s most hyped feature, thanks to more rigorous regulatory regimes.

Or, at least they would have were it not for a recently discovered work-around. In fact, once it’s released, anyone will be able to access the EKG feature by simply changing the device’s region to U.S. instead of any other location. This little trick was spotted by MacRumors Monday and will ensure that all Series 4 customers will have a chance to test drive its most exciting upgrade to Apple’s flagship wearable.

Keep in mind that EKG is only available on the Series 4 because it needs feature-specific hardware that is found underneath the watch face. All other Apple Watches make use of photoplethysmography (PPG), which is enabled by two LED lights while EKG uses electrodes.

Apple Watch Series 4 users outside of the U.S. might not need to wait to use its EKG.


Apple Watch Series 4: How To Get EKG Outside of the U.S.

Don’t worry, switching your device’s region won’t force you to change the language you’re using. This is all done through the iPhone, which the Apple Watch pulls data from to determine its underlying settings.

Open the Settings app, tap General, scroll down to the “Language & Region” menu, select the Region option, and set it to “United States.” This will ensure you’re able to try out the feature when it does come out on watchOS, but changing this setting will have some downsides.

The time, date, and currency units and formats will switch to reflect U.S. standard, for example, which will definitely be annoying seeing as the Apple Watches’ primary priority is to help you tell the time. But it could be worth a momentary switch to test out EKG.

Bear in mind that this workaround is based on the current version of watchOS. Apple could prevent this with a software update.

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