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Silverstar, June 17,  2020  9:53am EST

Apps for afib

I had a failed ablation  on December 12. 2020. Very upsetting. I had a pacemaker installed  because the meds I needed to controll my afib with rvr caused my pulse to go  to 40 . It is now set at 70 so  the doctor can increase the meds, hoping this might work.  I would like to find out about apps that I can wear to detect if I have a rapid heart heart rate, etc.  I would appreciate any feedback from my fello afib res that uses these devices o r apps.  Hopefully in time I will try a second ablation



5 Replies
  • Jeanamo815
    Jeanamo815, June 17,  2020  1:54pm EST not despair that your first ablation was not successful.  It often takes more than one.  I had 3 ablations before they were successful , but I have been in normal sinus rhythm since the last one in  2014.  I think the ablation procedure may have even improved since then.  I also had to have a pacemaker in order to take the medicine that was causing me to have a very slow heart rate, so I understand what you are going through.  Be sure that you have an experienced electrophysiologist doing your procedure.  He/she can advise you as to when it may be an appropriate time to schedule another ablation.   Many people in this forum use the Kardia device that works with a smart phone, but there is some indication that it is not accurate for those with a pacemaker.   Others use the more expensive Apple watch for their EKGs.   My pacemaker is set for 60  while yours is set for 70.  I am sorry that your first  ablation did not solve the problem, but hope that a future one will be successful for you.

    Wishing you the best...


  • chawkins
    chawkins, June 18,  2020  9:01am EST

    Hello Silverstar!  I also have a pacemaker to prevent pauses in my heart.  I have had 3 ablations and still have occasional afib.  I have a kardia device and an apple watch.  The apple watch will not detect afib if your heart rate is over 120 bpm.  It says it detects and alerts you.  I have had the watch for a year and it has only alerted me once although I have had bouts of afib many times.  I was unaware that the Kardia doesn't work well with a pacemaker.  It reliably detects afib with me and it is my go-to for afib detection.  After 3 ablations I continue to have short bouts that I really can't feel and they are much shorter.  Good luck on your next one!

  • Larkspur
    Larkspur, June 18,  2020  1:54pm EST

    "there is some indication that it is not accurate for those with a pacemaker."

    I have a pacemaker and find no difference in how my Kardia worked before and after PM implantation. I don't think Kardia can guarantee that it will work with a PM but I have never heard of anyone reporting problems.

  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, June 19,  2020  6:06pm EST

    The Kardia and Apple Watch (Series 4 or 5) are both good devices, but have their own limitations. I have the Apple Watch 4 - it only works if you have a compatible iPhone to use it with, so unless you're an iPhone owner, go for the Kardia. 

    If you just want to check on your heart rate (HR), I think both will work fine. What I am more concerned about is afib as well as HR.

    The EKG function on the Apple Watch is similar to the Kardia, but it won't recognize afib if the HR is too high (> 120) - says inconclusive, but I already know that something is amiss.

    The Apple optical Heart Rate monitoring sensors work around the clock automatically while you are wearing the Watch. I wear it while asleep, and recharge while showering, etc. You can view your HR readings for the whole day on the Watch itself, or much more on your iPhone.

    For afib, the optical sensors perform a "screening" level function: it uses the sensors to detect whether your HR and HR variability is too high given that you aren't very active, and if it goes on for awhile, you get a notification that suggests maybe you have afib. If you're active, it won't necessary detect that you're having an episode just from the HR sensors.

    For me, if I watch the HR for a few minutes while sitting still, I can tell an afib episode is happening because the HR jumps up and down, like 20 or more at a time, because of the irregular beats. But the EKG samples for 30 seconds and thus gives a good average pulse rate, which is what I rely on for my afib HR instead of the optical HR monitoring.

    I can easily tell whether afib is happening by feeling my pulse manually - for me, very distinctive. But I find the Watch useful, but mainly as a way to keep tabs on what's happening when I'm not noticing (like asleep), watching my HR while exercising, and to easily document the time when in afib or NSR.

    The Watch is also fun in many other ways, so it is sort of a reward for putting up with afib! 


  • Silverstar
    Silverstar, June 23,  2020  2:06pm EST

     Thank you for your kind support and advice it was very much appreciated. 

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