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ECG or EKG stands for electrocardiogram. An ECG monitor measures and records your heart rate and rhythm, and displays this information as a wave.
Here we are going to take a look at the features of seven monitors from reliable brands and what to know about ECG machines.
When are ECG monitors used at home?
Home use ECG or ECG monitors can help you track your heart rate and rhythm, as well as measure other vital signs such as blood pressure.
If you have certain heart conditions, including atrial fibrillation, it may be important to keep track of your heart rate. You may also want to monitor your heart rate and heart rate for other reasons, such as when you exercise, if you are pregnant, or if you have other health concerns.
Clinical or hospital grade ECG monitors have wires or electrodes that are stuck to different parts of your body to measure your heart rate.
Home or personal use ECGs, which are a type of consumer electronics, are usually equipped with sensors. You can hold one or two fingers against the sensors or wear the sensor on your wrist or body. Sensors are like electrodes that pick up and record the electrical activity of your heart.
Some personal use ECG machines have built-in displays so you can see your heart rate on the monitor. Other devices connect to a smartphone or computer app where you can save, view, store, and share your ECG readings.
Personal use ECG monitors usually give an accurate reading of your heart rate and heart rate. They may have one or two wires or contact points on your body. Clinical or hospital-grade ECGs, on the other hand, use 12 leads, so they are more sensitive.
This means that personal-use ECGs pick up the electrical signals from your heart, but not as accurately as the device your doctor uses. Personal use ECGs can also be inaccurate if you get sweat or moisture on your skin, or if you are not using them exactly as directed.
For these reasons, don’t panic if your personal-use ECG gives you an unusual reading. Take more readings and email the measurements to your doctor if possible. Your doctor may recheck any strange heart reading with a more accurate ECG.
You don’t need to buy a very expensive ECG monitoring device for home use. Several reliable ECG monitors are clinically approved.
With that in mind, we took a look at the features, ease of use, and pricing of well-known branded ECG monitors.
How much do ECGs cost?
Compact personal-use ECG machines start at around $ 50 and go up to $ 300 or more depending on the make and model. Clinical and hospital ECG monitors typically start at around $ 200 and can go up to several thousand dollars each.
The price of an ECG monitor depends on the type, grade, brand and features. ECGs intended for personal or home use are less expensive than those intended for clinical or hospital use.
Some smaller, cheaper, medical-grade ECG machines can be used at home if you have a home nurse or other healthcare professional who visits you regularly.
We indicate the price range using the following scale:
- $ = less than $ 100
- $$ = 100 to 200 USD
- $$$ = over $ 200
Most compact ECG monitor
- This monitor is compatible with all smartphones.
- The compact size is small enough to fit in your pocket.
- It is easy to use, without wires.
- It records 30 seconds of your heart rate and rhythm.
- With this device, you can store, view and share heart health data on your smartphone.
Cheapest ECG Monitor for Home Use
- This monitor is portable and small enough to carry in your pocket.
- Record your heart rate and waveform easily, anywhere.
- Record your heart rate and ECG for up to 30 seconds at a time.
- Email your recordings or sync them with a smartphone app.
- This monitor is rechargeable.
Best Wireless ECG Monitor
- This device is a home blood pressure monitor and ECG monitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- It’s easy to use.
- It syncs with the free OMRON Connect smartphone app.
- With the monitor, you can store, track and share your heart health data.
Cheapest medical grade ECG
- It is a medical grade device that can be used at home.
- It amplifies heart and lung sounds 60 times.
- The monitor displays heart sound waves and ECG waveforms.
- You can use it without connecting to a smartphone or computer app.
- ECG recordings can be saved and shared via email.
- It has a thread and is easy to use.
- The rechargeable battery remains charged for 9 hours.
Best portable medical grade ECG
- It is a medical grade device that can be used in the home by a home nurse or other healthcare professional.
- It is both approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CE
- You can use it without connecting to a smartphone or a computer app.
- It is compact, portable and light enough to be carried in the hand.
- You can view your ECG on the monitor or via printout.
- The monitor is very sensitive to help easily detect abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
- The rechargeable battery has a lifespan of 3 hours.
The smallest ECG monitor
- This is a small, discreet, single-lead personal ECG.
- It measures heart rhythms in just 30 seconds
- It connects to any smartphone.
- It is medical grade and portable.
Best portable ECG monitor
- This is a portable monitor that can also be worn with a chest strap.
- It can measure your ECG from 30 seconds to 15 minutes.
- Use it with or without a smartphone.
- It has a free smartphone application.
- Sync it with a smartphone app with bluetooth to view your data.
- With this monitor, you can store, save and share heart health data.
When purchasing an ECG monitor for home use, look for one that is approved by the FDA or another health agency.
Choose an ECG machine for personal use that is easy to use. If you have heart disease, you may want to use a medical grade ECG monitor. However, many of these devices require a healthcare professional, such as a home nurse, to use and read them.
If you’ve ever had an ECG reading at your doctor’s office, you know you need to be very still while the device measures your heart rate.
Here are some tips for taking more accurate readings with a personal ECG:
- Sit back and relax before reading.
- Do not take a reading immediately after exercise or physical activity.
- Do not drink very cold liquids immediately before.
- Make sure your skin is dry.
- Make sure there is no clothing between the ECG sensors and your skin.
- Remove any jewelry that might be near the sensors.
Keep in mind that some personal ECGs may not always detect small or brief changes in your heart rate. So it’s important to get regular checkups and let your doctor know about any symptoms you may have, no matter what your ECG readings are saying.
Speak with a doctor
If you have fatigue or other health problems, talk to your doctor.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- rapid heartbeat
- Heart palpitations
- chest pain
- chest tightness or pressure
- shortness of breath
A home or personal ECG can be a useful tool if you have a condition that can affect your heart rate and rhythm. Inform your doctor if you have unusual ECG readings.
A personal use ECG monitor will not be as accurate as a clinical or hospital grade ECG machine. You will still need to have regular check-ups including an ECG reading with your doctor.