I know many of us with a pm also experience a fib.  Do you wear a smart watch with an ecg function?  Why or why not and which device do you use? 




Kardia Mobile 6 lead

by Gemita - 2023-09-10 07:26:20

John, it is good to hear from you.  I am a long suffering Atrial Fibrillation (AF) member.  I have learned over the years to know when I am in AF from my symptoms alone: 

(the quivering chest sensation, chest discomfort, weakness from irregularity of rhythm, volatile blood pressure and heart rates even in the presence of my pacemaker, breathlessness and I could go on)

I always feel my neck pulse to assess rhythm and speed of any arrhythmia too which gives me instant feedback.

I have a Kardia Mobile 6 lead monitor which is excellent and always gives me an accurate assessment of the rhythm disturbance present.  I know some members say that with a pacemaker, home monitoring is not so accurate, but I have never found this.  I have both a good BP monitor and now the Kardia ECG monitor.  I don’t obsess about monitoring because I know my symptoms so well, but it can be useful if I am feeling particularly poorly to get an instant recording which I can email to my clinic and/or ask them to correlate my symptoms to any arrhythmia present when I download my pacemaker data.

I can thoroughly recommend the 6 lead Kardia Mobile to any member.  If however you want a "wearable" while you are on the go, Frontier X2 (very expensive) is popular as are Apple Watches, but I haven't tried either.  I attach the Frontier X2 link:

Apple Watch

by Tracey_E - 2023-09-10 08:23:13

My Apple Watch will alert for afib and do a simple ecg. I don't really use it for either, but it has it. It'll also do O2sat, track workouts, estimate VO2max, alert when my resting rate is too high. But I mostly use it for music, texts without getting my phone out, intervals when I run, and the weather. 

Apple Watch

by Julros - 2023-09-10 14:02:08

I use my watch like Tracey: texts, the weather, tracking steps and exercise. And telling time. Because of my high grade block I can tell from my resting heart rate if I'm in afib. My normal low rate is 60, in afib its 70.

My quarterly device reports include time in an atrial rhythm. Since my last ablation in March, only 1 short episode. 


by BradyJohn - 2023-09-10 19:23:01

Hi Gemita,  Tracey and Julros, 

I have been fortunate to have only brief episodes of afib,  and for the most part only learn about them when I go in for a check up which is every 6 months.  So far we're just observing.  My CHADS2 score is really low, so I'm ok with this approach.  I use my wearable pretty much like Tracey and Julros.  I think what I would appreciate is remote monitoring of my pm.  I am not sure if it's possible where I live, but will ask when I go in next month.



Heart Rate EKG and Other Wearables

by Marybird - 2023-09-12 16:27:10

Just my own personal perspective on this. I opted to take off my Garmin heart rate monitor watch for good when I got my pacemaker four years ago, and chose to not replace it. I felt that I had gotten almost to the OCD point in the two years before I got the pacemaker in constantly watching the heart rate, observing the all-too frequent bradycardia, and the tachycardia when it reared its ugly heard. Granted observing this is how we became aware I had issues even before the brady became symptomatic, so I can only be grateful this was available to me at the time. 

But once I got the pacemaker, and felt better, I decided I didn't want or need to know what my heart rate or rhythm was all the time, I could assume, thanks to the pacemaker, that it was where it needed to be and no need for me to worry about it. I also figured that with the remote monitoring, if something was amiss my doctor/clinic would be notified, and if I felt tachy flutters or something, they'd be reported if they were significant, and if they weren't , then no need for me to worry about them. I just wanted to live my life without thinking about my heart, and as long as I felt good, I could do that. 

I could see where others feeling symptoms that may arise from arrhythmias, or possible pacemaker issues, especially if remote monitoring is not available to them, would want to monitor their heart activity more often, or closely- though in my humble opinion if it drives one nuts worrying about it constantly then it's overdone. And I haven't done away with the devices to check heart rates, EKGs entirely. We have blood pressure monitors ( I have high blood pressure and have been instructed to monitor that at home) that show heart rates, as well as a couple pulse oximeters. I use those occasionally if I'm curious about my heart rate, sometimes just for the pure joy of seeing that heartrate in the mid-70's with my activity ( would only go into the low 50's at the highest, with that activity before the pacemaker). And purely for curiosity, and because I could, I sprung for a 6 lead Kardia mobile ( used credit card points) and use that occasionally when my " flutters" last long enough to set it and the phone up to run an EKG.  I've caught several runs of "possible AFib" with heart rates between 120 and 130 with the Kardia, so I guess it really is there and not a figament of the pacemaker's imagination reported in my remote monitor reports. I also "sleuthed out" the mystery of my strings of "slow heart rates" ( I can hear them with my pulsatile tinnitis)- measured on the pulse ox between 30 and 40 BPM, as runs of PVC bigeminy clearly showing on the Kardia EKGs when these occurred. 

But when I'm feeling just fine and nothing's happening, fortunately most of the time, I just want to enjoy my life and not think or worry about my heart. 

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