Heart Rate Monitor/Pedometer Recommendations

My mother just had a heart attack and we want to get something to monitor her heart rate and step count. However they don’t have internet access or wifi. Can anyone recommend a standalone device that does this? Quality is of utmost concern and not price. Thanks.

Anything that you guys use at your clinics? @rivasp12 @DrFraser @Dr.Bart

In addition to a wearable, you might consider one of the devices that work in the bed and tracks sleep, heart rate, etc. - and uploads the data to the cloud or an app (so then you can check on your mother remotely and see how she’s doing).

Here are some different takes on products that are in this category:


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I tried withings, but it is not something I would recommend.

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Apple Watch? Monitors heart rate and steps. I read it also tells time.
You’d need an iPhone too, but that would give internet access.
And it alerts if there’s a fall.

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The issue is the simplicity needed. Can Mom sort through a basic smart phone, even if no internet connection? Just for reporting, this integration is often present.

I’d look at the Whoop 4 and possibly for simplicity and function - and at a lower cost, the range of the Fitbit watches.

I’m not an expert in this, and personally have an Oura Ring and Apple watch.


You might want to add a phone plan to one of the latest Apple Watches - that way it can call for 911 and just upload metrics to the cloud whether she has WiFi coverage or not.

Since price is less of an issue the Apple Ultra Watch would give much more battery life as also has a one button very large volume alarm function that she can press if she ever needs to call attention for help in a emergency. The alarm function is a very valuable addition and should be quite easy to teach her how to use.

The watch can call automatically call 911 and notify emergency contacts if it detects a fall or heart attack and she is not responsive.

(I use this combo when I do adventure sports).

See eg


The watch can then also run an ECG assessment at any point (though relatively easy that might be something someone can help her do if ever feeling the need to check it - depending on how extra you want to go you could create a protocol for this with her and you dad).

The watch can also measure her blood oxygen levels - eg monitoring some of the risks if she got a bad covid case and help guide whether to go to hospital.

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What is the end goal? Wrist based HR monitors won’t catch any ischemia or even infarction other than reporting tachycardia even the Apple Watch 2 lead is a terrible predictor (it’s great for A. fib or V. tach).
Is it just to make sure that she is staying fit?
The best life saver of a device is an AED.


What is an AED? (for those less familiar with the acronyms)

An AED is a type of computerized defibrillator that automatically analyzes the heart rhythm in people who are experiencing cardiac arrest. When appropriate, it delivers an electrical shock to the heart to restore its normal rhythm.

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If you watched the reviews on YouTube, Apple watch and Samsung scored very high. Huawei as well for a fraction of the price. I have a Huawei band 8 which cost me about $79 AUD. I hate wearing watches or anything really so this device is perfect because it is small. I used it mainly for notifications and heart rate. It does plenty of other functions such as count the number of laps I swim and the stroke I used :joy:. I had Samsung watch and fit bit before. I’ve also tried Xiaomi but I like the Huawei because it works and cheap to replace. I take it scuba diving all the times (not supposed to) and it never flooded. My Xiaomi didn’t survive. Samsung and Fitbit broke underwater. I had a previous Honor band 6 that got flooded. As for the Huawei, I’m happy to replace it every year if it breaks but so far it is still the same over a year. Yes I dive on average once a week over the last 20 years. I can dive up to 4x a week when the hunting season begins or is in full swing.


They do catch falls - or complete absence of heart beat - and if one does not respond to the alarm the watch calls 911 / emergency contacts and gives them geolocation - so that can still pick up a lot of heart attack/stroke and other events that leads to fall where people need help and every minute counts

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Medicine is not like the movies or TV shows.
Flatline is a very late finding… the patient would be long brain dead before their flatline. Most likely they will go in V. tach or V. fib for quite a while.
Horrible metric to use to monitor somebody’s wellbeing.


Sorry that I did not know how often that happens - it was just listed in some examples and the overall point still stands I think.

The main point I was making is that many things that are bad/urgent - including often from stroke and heart attack and things that lead to fainting - result in a fall - and the Apple Watch is quite good at detecting falls

That means that the alarm and auto call to 911 and emergency contacts happens almost immediately

Not saying things are prefect, but do think that now in 2024 the Apple Watch tech can add a bit of a layer of safety. Do you not think that is the case?

Innovative Fall Detection and other health sensors on Apple Watch prove time and time again to be essential lifesavers

The life-saving potential of the Apple Watch’s Fall Detection has been proven in various real-life scenarios. Here are just a few of some recent instances:

Averting hypothermia: A man at risk of hypothermia activated his Apple Watch’s Emergency SOS, leading to a prompt and life-saving response from emergency services.

Rescuing a senior: A 78-year-old man’s Apple Watch detected a significant fall, leading to immediate emergency aid and potentially saving his life.

Car accident rescue: Kacie Anderson, with her baby, relied on her Apple Watch to call for help after a severe car accident, highlighting the watch’s critical role in emergencies.

Health alert: Heather Hendershot received an important health warning from her Apple Watch, emphasizing its capabilities beyond fall detection.

Technology reporter’s experience: Toralv Østvang’s Apple Watch alerted emergency services after detecting his immobility from a fall, showcasing its importance in emergency response by contacting the police, who contacted his wife and then told the paramedics where to find him.

Hotel room incident: Bayla Belle Christianson’s Apple Watch, with its Fall Detection, summoned help after she lost consciousness, underscoring the feature’s life-saving potential.

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