Apple Watch heart rate alerts leads woman to supraventricular tachycardia diagnosis

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited February 12
A home nurse in Fayetteville, N.C. was reportedly put on a path to discovering supraventricular tachycardia by her Apple Watch.

Beth Stamps Apple Watch


Beth Stamps was in a patient's home when the incident happened, later saying she felt like she'd just finished "running a marathon," according to ABC11. Her Series 4 Watch indicated that her heart rate had hit 177 beats per minute -- higher than what most athletes encounter at the peak of a workout.

Coworkers had her rushed to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, a form of arrhythmia. The condition isn't necessarily dangerous, but may require treatment to keep under control.

Stamps told ABC that she'd had previous heart incidents, but until now had been able to control them by deliberately relaxing.

All current Apple Watches are able to use their heart rate sensors to detect possible atrial fibrilliation/arrythmia. The Series 4 can go a step further, recording electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, but requires people to load an app and hold their finger on the Watch's crown. It can't therefore aid the heart sensor in detecting problems on the fly.

The Watch has regularly made local news media for its lifesaving abilities. Apple has seized on this for marketing, furthering the company's narratives about health and fitness as selling points.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    iBillyiBilly Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    As someone who has had an episode of SVT, it is one that will make you think you are dying.  Glad she's ok.
    albegarclolliverchasmJWSCcaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    I’m still not sold on the the idea of heart rate monitoring as a universal screening tool, with the sole selection criteria of having $400 to blow on a digital watch. 

    I’m not convinced the watch even helped here. She felt unwell and needed a medical review regardless.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    larryalarrya Posts: 552member
    My watch keeps waking me up because of low heart rate, but there are no other symptoms. I would rather sleep. 
  • Reply 4 of 18
    kkqd1337 said:
    I’m still not sold on the the idea of heart rate monitoring as a universal screening tool, with the sole selection criteria of having $400 to blow on a digital watch. 

    I’m not convinced the watch even helped here. She felt unwell and needed a medical review regardless.
    Apple Watches start at $280
    lolliverdayeStrangeDaysbb-15jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    I regularly hit 190-210 BPM during long workouts .
  • Reply 6 of 18
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    I regularly hit 190-210 BPM during long workouts .
    I hit that once while seated and my watch warned me that I was pegging heart rate while not engaged in strenuous physical activity.

    I was on a track and had just spun out.  I don't remember the exact warning but it made me laugh.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    larrya said:
    My watch keeps waking me up because of low heart rate, but there are no other symptoms. I would rather sleep. 
    You can adjust the threshold, or disable it altogether. 
    edited February 12 bb-15watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    payecopayeco Posts: 341member
    kkqd1337 said:
    I’m still not sold on the the idea of heart rate monitoring as a universal screening tool, with the sole selection criteria of having $400 to blow on a digital watch. 

    I’m not convinced the watch even helped here. She felt unwell and needed a medical review regardless.
    Apple Watches start at $280
    Even less if you wait for a sale. Amazon had the 38mm Series 3 for $199 this past weekend. It doesn’t have the ECG function but it still would have detected this woman’s issue, for instance. 
    edited February 12 lolliverStrangeDaysbb-15jony0
  • Reply 9 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,382member
    kkqd1337 said:
    I’m still not sold on the the idea of heart rate monitoring as a universal screening tool, with the sole selection criteria of having $400 to blow on a digital watch. 

    I’m not convinced the watch even helped here. She felt unwell and needed a medical review regardless.
    Other things kkqd1337 isn’t sold on:
    • The moon landing
    • Climate change
    • A spherical Earth
    • Vaccinations
    edited February 12 ihatescreennamesalbegarcpayecololliverchasmLordeHawkkevin keedayeStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sandorsandor Posts: 557member
    larrya said:
    My watch keeps waking me up because of low heart rate, but there are no other symptoms. I would rather sleep. 

    That would be annoying.

    My resting heart rate ranges from 37-45 bpm or so, depending on where i am in terms of workout schedule & recovery - a bit lower than the standard definition of under 60 bpm being bradycardia.

    The line about 177 being higher than most athletes during a workout is way too generalized. 177 is higher than some people max heart rate, and low enough to be moderate exercise in others - maximum heart rate just isn't standard enough to make such statements (and the 220-your age is completely wrong!)

    The AppleWatch is just like a home blood pressure cuff - great for first line alert, but not diagnostic.

    ...said as an amateur aerobic power athlete...
    StrangeDaysaegean
  • Reply 11 of 18
    She's a nurse and said she felt like she'd just run a marathon but only went to hospital because a device told her she had a high heart rate. I'm not sure I believe this one. Some of the Apple-saved-my-life articles are legit, this one seems fishy.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    larrya said:
    My watch keeps waking me up because of low heart rate, but there are no other symptoms. I would rather sleep. 
    Ummm…get clearance from your doctor, then try sleeping with your watch on the charger. Do people not know how to unplug? Where is the common sense?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 18
    I really love AppleWatch, especially the latest Series 4, after using my Original Series for 3 years. The new AW S4 'feels' like a revolutionary product. It has bigger screen, it has better look with less bezel, it feels so good on the wrist, it charges superfast (1.5 hours from 0 to 100%) so I still can wear it at nighttime (I use Sleep Apps) and fully charge it during shower and breakfast time.
    edited February 12 StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 18
    kkqd1337 said:
    I’m still not sold on the the idea of heart rate monitoring as a universal screening tool, with the sole selection criteria of having $400 to blow on a digital watch
    Entry-level model is $279. But if you believe the AW is akin to a Casio digital watch, there’s no helping you. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    She's a nurse and said she felt like she'd just run a marathon but only went to hospital because a device told her she had a high heart rate. I'm not sure I believe this one. Some of the Apple-saved-my-life articles are legit, this one seems fishy.
    It actually doesn’t say that. 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 273member
    iBilly said:
    As someone who has had an episode of SVT, it is one that will make you think you are dying.  Glad she's ok.
    I had this condition for several years.
    On one of my last episodes I had an AW & it was very convenient to track my heart rate to decide to go to the ER. (Exercises & medication didn’t help to slow my heart down.)
    In the ER I checked my AW heart rate compared with the ER equipment & the AW was very close.
    A handy device which I continue to wear. 

    I eventually had heart surgery (ablation) for this problem.  
  • Reply 17 of 18
    She's a nurse and said she felt like she'd just run a marathon but only went to hospital because a device told her she had a high heart rate. I'm not sure I believe this one. Some of the Apple-saved-my-life articles are legit, this one seems fishy.
    A half hour later and the high heart rate might have slowed down to 60bpm, and might have left no clinically measurable evidence of the elevation. At least with the AW there are some indicators for a clinician to investigate or test. 
    caladanian
  • Reply 18 of 18
    sandorsandor Posts: 557member
    mac_dog said:
    larrya said:
    My watch keeps waking me up because of low heart rate, but there are no other symptoms. I would rather sleep. 
    Ummm…get clearance from your doctor, then try sleeping with your watch on the charger. Do people not know how to unplug? Where is the common sense?

    This is part of the reason i *don't* have an AppleWatch - it simply isn't in tune with my use patterns. Monitoring heart rate while i sleep is helpful on a micro and macro level.
    The Basis Peak was in tune, the Garmin VivoactivHR is.
    I can sleep with it, monitor my resting heart rate (and thereby my aerobic recovery) track my cycling commute & workouts & get 4-5 days of battery life.
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