Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

" is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

FAQs Coping with A-Fib: Monitors

“Is there any way to tell how often I get A-Fib or how long the episodes last? What kind of A-Fib monitors are available? I have silent A-Fib (A-Fib without any obvious symptoms). It was discovered by accident when I was getting an EKG during a physical.”

Holter Monitor

Holter Monitor

Your doctor may use devices such as a Holter, Event or Loop Monitor. A Holter Monitor records your EKG continuously, usually for 24-48 hours. An Event Monitor can be used for up to 30 days or longer. A Loop recorder is a very small device inserted under your skin beneath your left breast, such as the Medtronic Reveal LINQ. It sends a signal back to your doctor’s office and lasts for 3 years. (I have one. It’s so small it’s hard to tell where it is.) For a more in depth discussion about monitors, see my report A Primer: Ambulatory Heart Rhythm Monitors.

Consumer Heart Rate Monitors by Polar

Consumer Heart Rate Monitors by Polar

To monitor for A-Fib yourself, the Apple Watch (Series 6, the gold standard of wearable monitors) can generate an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. It’s very sophisticated and can monitor both for A-Fib and for many other health parameters. The series 6 has a blood oxygen sensor as well as a heart-rate check. Upon FDA approval, it will have real-time monitoring of blood pressure.

Added: August 6, 2020: Marilyn Shook writes “Love my Apple Watch 5! Great accurate ECG strip to share.” (Read Marilyn’s A-Fib story at

Added: September 6, 2021: James writes: ” My apple Watch recently alerted me to A-Fib, and I went to a doctor who kept me overnight for observation. I felt great otherwise. Not sure how long it would have gone on before I checked it.”

The main alternatives to the Apple Watch are the Samsung Galaxy Watch and wearables featuring Google’s Wear OS softwear. The market leader for Wear OS is Fossil (Generation 5)  Another Fossil product is the Diesel On Fadelite. The Suunto 7 from Finland has GPS.

DIY Sports Rate Monitor

Another option is a consumer or DIY sports heart rate monitor available from sporting goods stores. Used by runners and other athletes, they rely on the use of a chest strap to pick up the electrical signals from the heart and transmit to a special wrist watch.

On most you can program a high heart rate zone which you might enter only if you were in A-Fib. That way you could record when and how long you stayed in A-Fib and what your max heart rate was. Some have internal storage recording that can be download to your PC to view data in a graphic form.

We like the “Polar” brand. Check out the array of Polar brand heart rate monitors on Other companies include Timex, Garmin, Acumen, Nike, and Cardiosport.

For an in-depth review of DIY/sports monitors, see my report: Consumer (DIY) Heart Rate Monitors.

Back to FAQs: Coping with Your A-Fib
Last updated: Monday, September 6, 2021

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