iWatch Heart Rate Anomalies

My resting heart rate is 51 bpm.

While resting, my iWatch will occasionally report a heart rate in the low 40's although my pacemaker minimum threshold is 50!   Perhaps that is an ectopic issue, but sometimes it records for periods of up to 10 minutes in the low 40's! That seems difficult to explain as an ectopic issue?

While exercising, my iWatch is fairly accurate (confirmed by chest strap, treadmill monitor) in the range from 90 to 115 bpm (my 80% exercise level) BUT occasionally it will record 210 bpm for a sustained period of 15 minutes or more!  During these periods I have no confirmation of accuracy by any other means - except that I do not feel it. No shortness of breath or lightheadedness or fatigue. Possibly an asymptomatic a-fib event, but the pacemaker does not record an episode in this period. So ....an unexplained artifact. Dehydration?

Suggestions on how to resolve these anomalies?


don't trust the watch

by Tracey_E - 2021-01-27 18:12:09

The watches are pretty good, better than most things out there, but there will be times where they miss beats, times where the pacer will throw it off. Always count manually or go by how you feel. If you feel good, if you count manually and your number is good, ignore what the the watch says. 


by AgentX86 - 2021-01-27 19:06:44

I agree that it's probably the watch but there is no reason that ectopics can't be "regular".  Bigeminy (or trigeminy) is one possibility. It would seem than an escape rhythm faster than the sinus rhythm would be another possibility.  I sure felt it but my pacemaker couldn't record its existence.  I don't think any can.  Unless they come in longs strings, ectopics are just too common to bother recording.  The fact that your only evidence of anything amiss is your watch, Occam's razor points to the watch.

Watch the watch.

by runpacer - 2021-01-29 17:11:19

I wear my watch when I run. It is not that reliable. 

My pulse seems off at times. Post run review makes readings look doubtful. 

However, with recent news from Apple, our iphones, Apple watches and Airpods have magnetic fields and they can interfere with the functioning our implanted devices. I know it's easy to just look at our watch to get a pulse reading, ecg and other info... but every now and then it might be worth taking a pulse via a finger to the wrist or neck just for comparison. 

Heart Anomalies

by TRASH ARTIST - 2021-01-30 13:20:36

From what your describing, either you watch or your Pacemaker is malfunctioning. Mine is set to a bottom level of 60 and a maximum of 130bpm with no veriation. These irregularities should show up on your monitor and you need to make an appointment to have your Pacemaker monitored by a manufacturers representitive. This is something I do every six months, or sooner if there's a problem.

Apple Watch

by PacedNRunning - 2021-02-03 00:43:02

Apple Watch is not great at reading slow paced beats. My low limit is set to 50bpm and I see 48,46,even 30's sometimes. The other thing it can be is a setting called rate hysteresis.  If the PM senses that you are resting, it will allow your own heart to work on it's own if its able to do the job. So it could be what is happening during the slow rate episodes. You really have to ask your team what your settings will allow your heart to do.  This setting is to encourage instrinsic beats, which overall are better for the heart if it can do the work.  

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