Apple Watch can help detect SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) and help with treatment

EGG app classification following taking an ECG on Apple watch

According to new research published last month, Apple Watch can detect supraventricular tachycardia and help with the treatment. The study also looked at the various Apple Watch models and provided guidance around the best single lead ECG Apple Watches that can help detect tachycardia.

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What is Supraventricular Tachycardia?

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormal fast or erratic heartbeat that impacts the heart’s upper chambers is known as Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

According to Mayo Clinic, A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia. During an episode of SVT, your heart beats about 150 to 220 times per minute, but it can occasionally beat faster or slower.

Most people with supraventricular tachycardia live healthy lives without restrictions or treatment. For others, lifestyle changes, medication, and heart procedures may be needed to control or eliminate the rapid heartbeats and related symptoms.

SVT occurs when the electrical signals that coordinate your heartbeats don’t work properly.

For some people, a supraventricular tachycardia episode is related to an obvious trigger, such as exercise, stress, or lack of sleep. Some people may not have a noticeable trigger.

The incidence of SVT is approximately 35 cases per 100,000 patients, with a prevalence of 2.25 cases per 1,000 in the general population. Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are the most common subtypes of SVT, affecting approximately 2 million patients in the United States.

Apple Watch and Tachycardia

According to a new clinical case study published last month, Heart rate information from the Apple Watch can facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of SVT.Apple Watch and tachycardia detection and treatment

Benefitting from long-term HR trends, the researchers performed successful RF catheter ablation of coexisting AVNRT and AVRT.

The researchers reported a case of a 52-year-old patient complaining of palpitations and syncope. His heart rate trends from his Apple Watch® SE suggested two types of tachycardia, and the researchers successfully performed ablation for both of them in a single session.

Cardiac arrhythmia is difficult to record with standard methods such as the Holter monitors and patch cardiac rhythm monitors because of their duration. 

For example, the Holter ECG only lasts typically for a day and a week at most, but a cardiac arrhythmia might not occur during that period. 

Path cardiac rhythm monitors can only record for four weeks at most. A cardiac arrhythmia might not occur during that period. 

On the other hand, the long-term ICM requires an invasive operation and is therefore not patient-friendly. Smartwatches such as Apple Watches® provide a long-term yet patient-friendly monitoring method.

In the three-month follow-up period, the patient reporting the SVT problem was asymptomatic. Apple Watch® did not record a heart rate higher than 150/min.

The researchers found that even an Apple Watch® with a limited capacity can be helpful. Available features in smartwatches vary from patient to patient or even from country to country, and our case serves as an example that we can benefit from a smartwatch even when limited features are available. 

Nonetheless, Apple Watches, series 4 or later, has the capacity to record a one-lead ECG.

If you or your loved one suffer from heart-related problems, Apple Watch is a great investment. The accuracy of the heart rate data collected by the Apple Watch has been beneficial in detecting various heart-related problems, and the device has saved many lives.

Source: Single-session catheter ablation of coexisting atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia and atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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