Smart watch to monitor heart

Posted by nene22 @nene22, Apr 3, 2019

I am thinking of getting an Apple watch that can tell when I am in Afib. Has anyone out there had experience with one?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart Rhythm Conditions group.

@wa34937

I'm 6 mos into fib/flutter, 7 wks post ablation with continuing rhythm issues. I know that's a short period but I am trying to figure this out. I am ready to purchase a smartwatch that can detect fib and hopefully other issues. There are many watches and claims but I wonder if anyone is using one?

I have an Abbott "Insertable cardiac monitor" ($9,500) implanted which only detects fib and to my chagrin is only reports to my electrophysiologist.

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I was diagnosed with AFIB in May 2020 and after 2 echo cardiogram and an ablation in Oct 20 with further drug treatment, I finally achieved normal sinus rthymn in mid Jan 21. I monitor this status daily with FITBIT Sense smartwatch. The reason I went with the FITBIT Sense was it was one of the first along with Apple to have the approved FDA ECG app about Nov 20. I did not want to use the Apple smartwatch since it would require me to also purchase the Apple cellphone ( I had just gotten an new Android cell phone in Aug 20). Cost and ease was my reasons for FITBIT. All monitoring app software require a either a monthly or annual subscription, even the one advertised on Amazon ($180) for their device to self monitor AFIB.

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@wa34937

I'm 6 mos into fib/flutter, 7 wks post ablation with continuing rhythm issues. I know that's a short period but I am trying to figure this out. I am ready to purchase a smartwatch that can detect fib and hopefully other issues. There are many watches and claims but I wonder if anyone is using one?

I have an Abbott "Insertable cardiac monitor" ($9,500) implanted which only detects fib and to my chagrin is only reports to my electrophysiologist.

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@wa34937, this is such a great discussion topic – smart watches, wearables and apps to track heart rate, heart rhythms issues and activity levels. You'll notice that I moved your posts to this existing discussion called "Smart watch to monitor heart" that @nene22 started a while back. I think you'll appreciate the feedback and recommendations from members like @rainyday541 @judyrich @dogmom1 @ronbyrd @elwood @mayofeb2020 @johnbishop @lizzy102 @galevin. @mhanso83 thanks for adding your recommendation and explaining how you use FitBit.

How's everyone doing with their tracking device of choice? What are the pros and cons of your choices?

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I was using a Kardia Mobile pad with my old iWatch series 3 and also got the Kardia Apple watch band. I think it may be more accurate than the iWatch heart monitor but not sure I trust either one since both have told me frequently I was having AFIB when I'm pretty sure I wasn't. Now I have a series 6 iWatch with the new ECG app and it pretty much tells me I have Sinus Rhythm. I also have the new Kardia Mobile pad that does the 6 lead reading and it consistently tells me I have Sinus Rhythm with Supraventricular Ectopy. I also signed up for the Mayo Clinic ECG Study on the Apple series 6 watch – https://apps.apple.com/US/app/id1564146078

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I use the apple watch to detect AFIB. It's very helpful to record AFIB, heart rate highs and lows and the watch data (exported) has been very beneficial to bring to my appointments.

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I have palpitations almost daily, especially am–feels like afib but is not Kardia says ekg is normal–what causess this–what can be done–on eliquis and metoprolol–lasts for hours

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@damari

I have palpitations almost daily, especially am–feels like afib but is not Kardia says ekg is normal–what causess this–what can be done–on eliquis and metoprolol–lasts for hours

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Interesting–I have the same problem. I was diagnosed with Afib about 3 years ago–no other treatment recommended because I guess the Afib wasn't frequent enough(I am also on Eliquis and Metoprolol). I have found that if I have palpitations and start checking and feeling my pulse, etc., it makes it worse due to anxiety. So at my last yearly cardiology appointment, I asked my cardiologist if I could wear a heart monitor again(haven't for a could years). The report just came back, and I had frequent minor arrhythmias. I purchased a Kardia but haven't used it yet. My plan to help with the arrhythmias is to pray, exercise, drink more water, and work on relaxation(and try to ignore them). My cardiologist said that I could increase my Metoprolol to 50 mg daily if the palpitations are bothersome, but I choose to stay at 25 mg due to the side effects(I might take another 1/2 tab at another time of day if they bother me too much). The week I wore the heart monitor was a bad week, but the week after was one of the best I have had in awhile–it seems there is no predicting the arhythymias, but I feel they are definitely stress related. I also take some supplements which I feel help, being careful not to take too much. I hope you feel better soon.

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@rdhwoman

Interesting–I have the same problem. I was diagnosed with Afib about 3 years ago–no other treatment recommended because I guess the Afib wasn't frequent enough(I am also on Eliquis and Metoprolol). I have found that if I have palpitations and start checking and feeling my pulse, etc., it makes it worse due to anxiety. So at my last yearly cardiology appointment, I asked my cardiologist if I could wear a heart monitor again(haven't for a could years). The report just came back, and I had frequent minor arrhythmias. I purchased a Kardia but haven't used it yet. My plan to help with the arrhythmias is to pray, exercise, drink more water, and work on relaxation(and try to ignore them). My cardiologist said that I could increase my Metoprolol to 50 mg daily if the palpitations are bothersome, but I choose to stay at 25 mg due to the side effects(I might take another 1/2 tab at another time of day if they bother me too much). The week I wore the heart monitor was a bad week, but the week after was one of the best I have had in awhile–it seems there is no predicting the arhythymias, but I feel they are definitely stress related. I also take some supplements which I feel help, being careful not to take too much. I hope you feel better soon.

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Hello @rdhwoman, Welcome to Connect, an online community where patients and caregivers share their experiences, find support and exchange information with others. I think you may be right about the stress factor. I recently have been practicing breathing through my nose which has been a problem for me for a long time. I found out after a few minutes practice I can lower my blood pressure and feel more relaxed. A member in another discussion shared a book by James Nestor called "Breath – The New Science of a Lost Art". They also share a video that I found helpful — The Lost Art and Science of Breath – James Nestor | Float Conference 2018: https://youtu.be/-WWDqKljmCU

Have you discussed using the Kardia with your primary care doctor to see if the reports you can send them from the app would be helpful?

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I'm greatly helped in following my AFIB by an up to date Apple Watch and an iPhone which (with the watch) can provide a read-out of sleep and round the clock heartbeat feedback through both a Cardiogram and Sleepwatch app.

Re triggers, I too have noted late eating (especially if more than I ought to) is a major trigger.
Recently I've also become aware that alcohol is a main trigger even in small quantities, and late exercising increases the likelihood of nighttime AFIB with tachycadia too.

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@realitytest

I'm greatly helped in following my AFIB by an up to date Apple Watch and an iPhone which (with the watch) can provide a read-out of sleep and round the clock heartbeat feedback through both a Cardiogram and Sleepwatch app.

Re triggers, I too have noted late eating (especially if more than I ought to) is a major trigger.
Recently I've also become aware that alcohol is a main trigger even in small quantities, and late exercising increases the likelihood of nighttime AFIB with tachycadia too.

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Hi @realitytest, Thank you for the insight into what is helping you track your AFIB and what some triggers are that people should be mindful of.
You will see that I moved your post to an ongoing discussion about monitoring with a smart device. I did this so you could interact with members that are doing the same thing and so they can benefit from your post.

How long have you been diagnosed with AFIB?

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@amandaburnett

Hi @realitytest, Thank you for the insight into what is helping you track your AFIB and what some triggers are that people should be mindful of.
You will see that I moved your post to an ongoing discussion about monitoring with a smart device. I did this so you could interact with members that are doing the same thing and so they can benefit from your post.

How long have you been diagnosed with AFIB?

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Hi, Amanda!

Thanks for responding and for moving my comment to a more useful spot. Guess I need to learn more about how to locate issues on Connect.

I've been diagnosed with (paroxysmal) AFIB for about four years.

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@realitytest

Hi, Amanda!

Thanks for responding and for moving my comment to a more useful spot. Guess I need to learn more about how to locate issues on Connect.

I've been diagnosed with (paroxysmal) AFIB for about four years.

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Oops. Should have asked for a link to that "smart devices" discussion. Please let me know (hopefully this example will help me understand better the organization of the CONNECT site overall).

Thank you.

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The Applewatch heart functions, are not limited to checking whether or not you're in AFIB. With an iPhone and apps (I use Cardiogram and SleepWatch) I'm able to check my heart functions previously.

I most rely on them to follow my heart rate during exercise and during sleep (otherwise, quite unknown to me). A. few other feedback markers through the Sleepwatch app: (during sleep). Heartrate, total restful sleep time, whether and how much my heart rate dips during sleep (a sign of good cardiac health), average BPM during sleep (e.g. last night 61 BPM), and average Sleeping HRV (heart rate variability – how much it varies between heartbeats. Supposedly more variability equals more heart health). It also tells you when and for how long I was awakened from sleep (for me, with nocturia – helps see how long it takes me to fall back asleep), and depth of sleep. Without these gadgets, I'd never have known the connection between insomnia and AFIB, that when I lie awake or awaken feeling jittery, I am actually mostly experiencing AFIB. (Deep breathing – also monitored by the Apple Watch – does much to relieve it.)

None of the apps are foolproof (and I have to remember to make sure both the watch and iPhone are charged when going to sleep), but they've been truly. excellent at helping me learn what triggers inferior sleep – e.g., (low or no dip and tachycardia).

Thus I've learned that for me poor sleep (including tachycardia and AFIB) follows late eating especially excess consumption, that alcohol is a major trigger (even a very small amount, especially before bed), and (not surprisingly), late exercise (aerobic especially) makes my sleep light and broken. Confirms too the major effect of stress.

The Cardiogram feedback is fabulous, showing me how my heart rate varies with various kinds of exercise. (For example, how HIET – High Interval Exercise Training influences my. Heartrate as well as how I feel during – breathless, or not, etc.). I always check my pulse rate while exercising too, but the broader picture this app gives me is far more informative. Likewise, how quickly my pulse drops after stopping and more. I. get many surprises – like a high BPM occurring without breathlessness or the other way around.

With the premium plan I. can send my cardiologist ECG records for desired days.
It's almost as good as a "cardiac event monitor" (much more expensive) though that gives far more detailed feedback on specific kinds of irregular heartbeat – i.e., skipped ventricular beats. My son purchased these for me to relieve us both, and I really appreciate them. Recently I was concerned about a new pattern during home stairstepping. (My pulse started high but then dropped considerably for the remainder of my hour's exercise – perhaps going from 160 BPM for 5 minutes dropping to ~ 130 BPM for the rest of the hour.). A mystery.

Will ask my cardiologist about it if the chest monitor son just ordered me confirms that information (Don't want to get panicky if the apps are giving false feedback.). All this is important medical information especially as both siblings and I have inherited cardiac problems, both our lipids and arrhythmia, one dying in his sleep a year ago.

Technology can really be a bonanza for people like us, especially for me as I've only just learned I have a serious eye problem whose medication (oral anticoagulants) endanger the eye issue. Perhaps I'll switch from the oral. treatment to another safer way to control my AFIB. Without these feedbacks, my doctors wouldn't be able to fine tune such recommendations nearly as accurately.

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