Health Monitors, Fitness Trackers and other Wearables
Hi folks, I'm looking at getting a wearable to track various metrics in hope of being able to identify trends which may help me pace more effectively and identify when I am at risk of overdoing it and stopping before the PEM crash.
My issue is that most sources of information about wearables is focused on fitness and training regimes not on simply monitoring metrics to manage chronic illness, so I'm having trouble filtering through all the marketing BS to find the technical info which will tell me which devices meet my requirements.
At this point the metrics I'm focusing on are:
- Heart rate
- SPO2 blood oxygen level
- Sleep patterns
Once I have identified any patterns indicating high risk of PEM I want to be able to set notifications to alert me, e.g. if my heart rate goes up past a certain point, or my SPO2 drops below a certain level.
Can anybody in the community recommend any additional metrics people with ME should consider tracking to manage their ME more effectively?
Can anybody in the community recommend reliable and cost effective wearables which will meet these requirements?
river last edited by
@pcmwilliams I am not sure if we are allowed to reccomend specific products here but I will send you a private message with some!
@pcmwilliams I wish I'd asked in this forum before I bought mine, because I've ended up with one that congratulates me for a high heart rate and can't be programmed to do otherwise!
@river There's nothing wrong with recommending specific products that have worked for people - the thing that isn't appropriate is promoting things more broadly, and particularly for personal gain. So "I have/heard X works well" is fine, while "X is wonderful, and if you'd like one, just PM me and I can sell it to you" isn't (which I'm quite sure isn't an issue here)
@bigfish Which is excatly what PWME don't want.
We're not trying to get super fit, we just want to keep ourselves from spending the next week or four confined to bed.
emsarah last edited by
@pcmwilliams there was a thread on here which talked about this. When the search function comes back hopefully it's easier to find! I think some stuff got combined into a bigger thread a while ago...
This lady has severe ME and moderates a few ME Facebook groups. She has a good article about set up and a recommendation for a device she uses. Link here
I think there is also a Facebook group for HR monitoring and maybe a blog bit I can't find it argh! They have a master spreadsheet of good devices.
I have a Garmin Vivosmart 4. I turned off all alerts but it's not great for monitoring with quick feedback and you have to tap the screen to see your HR rather than being able to set an alarm as soon as you hit it. It's ok for me at the moment because I only do very limited activities so I know what makes it go over and I don't need to look.
river last edited by river
Since I know that its allowed now I'll recommend a few devices publicly here..
Garmin Vivoactive 4: has SpO2, sleep tracking, custom heart rate zones (very important for us) and ability to set an alarm to go off at a certain heart rate while you're running an "activity". Also has hydration tracking which I find useful. It's highly customizable but also just works out of the box. Some people find the "body battery" feature useful (think of it like an objective measurement of "spoons", if you know spoon theory) but I'm not convinced it works properly for people like us.
Polar Ignite: very similar to the Garmin Vivoactive in design and features just a different brand. Polar also makes electrode chest straps that you can connect to the watch for more accurate heart rate data (I think it can be connected to any watch that supports a Bluetooth data source though, you don't have to use the Polar watch).
I have used the Vivosmart but the screen is very small, fiddly and unresponsive which is not good for my brain fog. Also doesn't have the alarm, although weirdly I found that when I configured my Vivoactive alarm, that setting carried across to the Vivosmart and it gives me alarms now! It's like they make you pay for the more expensive watch to get that feature on your cheaper watch.
The Facebook group @emsarah mentioned is called "ME/CFS: Below the threshold" but the info there is very technical and overwhelming so I can understand why people would want a summary post instead of looking at a spreadsheet comparing devices!
emsarah last edited by
@river ha that's weird about the Vivoactive transferring it's alarms to the Vivosmart! I could only afford the cheaper one...maybe one day I can get a better one! I agree about the unresponsiveness. Sometimes I have to tap so hard to wake it up
Thank you all for the advice, suggestions, and links.
@pcmwilliams Such a valuable discussion. Thank you for raising this topic.