Apple is seeking ways to make the cycle tracking application featured in its latest Apple Watch series available for users in Korea. The US tech giant recently reached out to South Korean authorities to ask for a regulatory sandbox approval, according to industry sources Tuesday.
Apple Korea inquired with the Ministry of Science and ICT about the process of using a regulatory sandbox system, a measure that temporarily exempts the enforcement of regulations on new products or services for a certain period, to offer its ovulation tracking service here, the sources said.
“Apple Korea asked what procedures are in place regarding the regulatory sandbox, but we have not yet received an official application from the company,” a ministry official told The Korea Herald.
Apple included the retrospective ovulation estimate function in its Apple Watch Series 8 rolled out in October last year. The built-in app can detect wrist temperature changes and use this data to help improve period predictions and provide retrospective ovulation estimates.
"Knowing when ovulation has occurred can be helpful for family planning, and Apple Watch Series 8 makes it easy and convenient by providing these estimates in the Health app," Apple said on its website when unveiling the device. "Temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions."
But the function is not available in all regions, Apple added. To provide the function in Korea, Apple has to receive certification or approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, as it would be considered a medical device.
The function’s data can be used as an important reference for factors that affect the human body such as pregnancy and contraception. The industry sources also said Apple Korea made its inquiries about a medical device certification.
Apple Korea, however, declined to give specific details on the preparation process.