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WatchME and other HR/HRV monitoring apps

Discussion in 'Monitoring and pacing' started by hibiscuswahine, Jan 21, 2023.

  1. hibiscuswahine

    hibiscuswahine Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    464
    I have been using a combination of apps for Pacing that utilise heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) using Apple iWatch and iPhone.

    I have been using the watchME app and found it very useful, especially to monitor for conditions likely to induce PEM. Based on resting HR on waking, average HR, maximum HR, Steps, ( based on arm swing and accelerometer - not always accurate for me as certain repetitive crafts done in bed trigger it), Distance (kms), Energy (kilojoules), an estimation based on health metrics.

    WatchME has a pretty simple user interface to toggle individualised norms with notifications alerting important changes of status. It is a free app. Very easy to use and view on iWatch and customise once used to it.

    I have also been using Welltory, (subscription app), an HRV monitor that can also monitor for Coherence Breathing (ability to synchronise breathing to heart rate) and is integrated into the Mindfulness app and will do a HRV reading with one’s finger on the camera aperture or via Breathe function within the Mindfulness App (but not do the deep abdominal breathing on waking which alters HRV, just let in run for 3 mins. The morning HRV is the baseline reading following sleep.)

    I take most of the data with a grain of salt and all the advice I need to meditate and exercise, (as not normalised to ME and a bit BPS etc) but it has reported over 1 month, a significant lowering of HRV following “exercise” after 3 days (PEM!).

    When I do PEM this is somewhat reflected in the data given throughout the day, so not a reliable app for ME, but a surprise when got report via email of this significant trend according to their grouped data from other users. Not scientific evidence but interesting.

    Welltory does it’s own measurements throughout the day, independent of own input. On the occasion, if I do have more physical activity (not exercise - just moved a bit faster for some reason), that my breathing is more coherent and my HRV scores better and does usually reflect my assessment of my health once I trained the algorithm.

    Most of the permutations of Welltory HRV metrics data is permanently red so try not to alarm myself and feed into BPS theories that monitoring your ME worsens your health anxiety and stress….Exercise physiologists (and some physiotherapists) like HRV data, and many have been touting it everywhere for the management of ME/CFS, so thought I would test the system using my medical knowledge of physiology.

    Apparently Coherence Breathing may help Dysautonomia if performed three times a day. As per an Autonomic specialist (cardiologist) and electrophysiologist, Dr Boon Lim in London, UK.

    The Hearth Math device is about $300 AUD, Welltory has a Coherence reading triggered by the Breathe app.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH34JI0FOxk


    )

    I am not convinced by that after using it for 6 months but has helped me cope slightly better with a lot of change/stress and worsening physical health, most likely because I have a visual reading and feedback monitor/motivator and does help me nap/sleep when wired and tired, stressed etc by the crash or ignored my pacing schedule and can feel the symptoms of PEM starting, again….

    So thought I would start a discussion thread on WatchME (which also has a HRV reading function but not to the extent of Welltory).

    There is also a new HRV monitoring app called Visible created by pwLC and Dr Todd Davenport of the Workwell Foundation especially for ME/LC pacing. It is in the Beta stage on the Apple App Store, it’s a paid app but I was wondering if it was worth trying to compare it to watchME and Welltory (now that I have paid for life membership). Any experience/thoughts?

    I have a question about watchME for anyone in the know. I was wondering if anyone knew why the HRV metric doesn’t match my Apple Health HRV or my Welltory HRV, Mine is 30ms lower (across all readings) eg. My average is 26ms today (and no spikes to 56 which is the watchME score).

    Edited for clarification and typos.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2023
  2. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Messages:
    21,903
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Thread on Visible here, Monitoring app - Visible - a platform "designed for any invisible illness that benefits from resting and pacing - including ME/CFS & Long Covid."
     
    Peter Trewhitt, Ash, Trish and 2 others like this.
  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    52,210
    Location:
    UK
    Does the WatchME app require an iphone and iwatch? I couldn't find it on my Android phone. I have been disappointed so far with Visible, but I'll post about that on the relevant thread.
     
  4. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,403
    Location:
    Aotearoa New Zealand
    Yes: iPhone / Apple Watch only, see https://apps.apple.com/app/watchme/id1583153009?platform=appleWatch

    Mine matches what the phone says (±1 for rounding). The HRV reading is only infrequently given by Apple Health, eg if I look at All Data in the phone's health app for each day this week, it makes an assessment every 2 hours. Not sure why there might be such a discrepancy.

    I just had a look at my data (it's 0800 here and I've been awake for 90 minutes, but still in bed). WatchMe says HRV is 35. Apple Health says 36 ms (using the Watch's pulse oximeter). Welltory also says 36 ms using its measurement system of skin colour changes via the camera. I'll make a few more comparisons over the day.
     
    ahimsa, MEMarge, Trish and 1 other person like this.
  5. hibiscuswahine

    hibiscuswahine Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    464
    @SNT Gatchaman, thanks for checking and comparing

    It’s 0900 here, my watchME HRV is still reading 56, do you know when it updates?

    Apple Health HRV on waking at 0530 was 33ms, and between 8-9 am 16ms. Between 9-10 is now 15ms

    Welltory HRV consistent with this with SDNN currently in mid teens.

    I would send screenshots but haven’t worked this out for attaching them for this forum, using iPad, pretty cognitively challenged at the moment and unable to negotiate test-flight for the app.
     
    ahimsa and Trish like this.
  6. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,403
    Location:
    Aotearoa New Zealand
    Similar to my figures and not those of normal healthy for sure! Anyway that sounds more like the watch's display/data updating mechanism has become frozen for some reason. I'd try relaunching the app. Instructions for force-quitting a watch app are here. It's not intuitive as the watch only has two buttons to work with. Alternatively simply restart the watch. Also, as always it's nearly always good to make sure the OS (and app) versions on your devices are up to date.
     
    ahimsa and hibiscuswahine like this.
  7. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,105
    Location:
    UK
    I don’t know if this is the right thread to use so if not please redirect me.

    I don’t have any continuous bio measuring devices, but I am planning to get one.

    I want to get the most accurate measurements that I can. I want to measure cardio oxygen sleep phases.

    I am severely affected by ME. I acquired LC after COVID in early 2020. My muscle strength tanked post COVID I get breathless have a sore chest and pins and needles down left side. I feel dizzy most of the time. So if I can better manage my stamina at all my goal is to re strengthen as much as possible in the circumstances.

    I don’t have a clue about the technology because reading such stuff like that and translating advertorials is very challenging for me due to cognitive symptoms. So I expect it might take me a bit of time to research all this. But if anyone has recommendations or warnings or knows of any good places for me to start learning about this from other ME resources etc I’d be grateful for these as a place to start.

    I heard Garmin have some watches that also come with a chest strap for more accurate heart stuff so considering this although not sure if I could tolerate wearing one as often as necessary.

    I wondered if anyone had a Oura ring or thoughts on these?

    I have an Apple phone so I guess somethings are more compatible than others.

    I’ve heard Apple Watches user friendly but perhaps not as accurate on some measures?

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Lilas and hibiscuswahine like this.
  8. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,403
    Location:
    Aotearoa New Zealand
    I can comment from my experience of the Apple Watch. I also trialled a Garmin Vivo but prefer the Apple Watch for its user interface and multiple other features.

    As far as I know its sensors are as accurate or more accurate than cheaper devices. I trialled a chest strap but didn't find it added much for someone who is no longer doing higher intensity workouts and was a bit annoying to wear. The Apple Watch needs to be charged every day, so if you wear it overnight you'll usually have to charge it at some point early during the next day. By default it doesn't measure oxygen saturations overnight, but you can enable this in settings.
     
    MEMarge, Trish, Ash and 2 others like this.
  9. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,105
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks @SNT Gatchaman!

    I would like an excuse to sell another piece of my soul to the Apple empire, in exchange for ease of use and enjoyment. I can imagine I might be incentivised to keep using this one on account of the other features as you mentioned which might help me keep up with monitoring or if not would at least mean I hadn’t wasted the purchase.
     
  10. hibiscuswahine

    hibiscuswahine Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    464
    Thanks, great advice, I forget….often…. I made contact with the developer via the Apple App Store, very quick to respond to feedback and made necessary adjustments so all my HR and HRV data is synching nicely. I find the visual representation, simple data score on watch face very motivating. Pacing is hard, life is unpredictable and not always attainable, but HRV and resting HR are very useful indicators of my PEM level and all the things I must do to lower it.

    @Ash, I find the Apple Watch data very reliable and has many other useful monitoring in the Health App and all the other functionality of not having to carry a phone. I don’t think the Sleep app is very helpful for pwME, it is based on sleep for people without ME and there is a lot of BPS stuff connected to it and you have to charge the phone while asleep or else can’t get the most accurate resting HR and pace data.

    WatchME is now my main pacing app and Welltory HRV more of an intellectual curiosity but useful for short term experimentation of new physiological tests I am considering in the absence of access to facilities in my country.
     
    ahimsa, SNT Gatchaman and Ash like this.
  11. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @hibiscuswahine, thank you for this information reassuring that you find Apple useful/usable for ME pacing purposes. I had been concerned about how to use fitness info generally on all different platforms and devices meant for fit people or people actively able to advance their own fitness, so good to know you’ve managed to achieve your goals which will be closer to my own.

    Also cheers for the heads up sleep data not really lining up with our condition.
     
    hibiscuswahine and Trish like this.
  12. SunnyK

    SunnyK Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    California, USA
    Thanks for posting this, Ash. I was about to post the same thing, as I too am looking into getting something that can provide bio measures, esp vis-a-vis HR and HRV. I am completely Linux/Android. Any of you have suggestions for me that aren't too expensive? Thank you !
     
  13. AknaMontes

    AknaMontes Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    UK
    Coming in three months after the last entry, I tried the Visible app in beta but it wasnt predicting anything for me, just recording some stuff, so disregarded. I might try it again now they have done more work on it. I dont have an apple watch but would like to try one at some point. Ive found HR to be no indicator of where I am below PEM threshold as it is more likely to show how long since I last took my beta blockers…. But HRV is quite successful using Welltory and reading theee or four times a day, finger over phone camera. Biggest issue is difficulty getting a reading from the camera, but after several tries I usually manage it. I just note the colours, anything mostly green means Im ok to potter along, once amber starts to occupy the top third I need to get off my feet and rest until it goes back to green, whcih can be 18 hours. But doing this has meant a big reduction in PEM. Ive no idea if its working really, but it is making me pace better.
     
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