What to look for in a portable ECG Machine?

An electronic cardiograph machine or Portable ECG Machine is a commonly used medical device that helps in recording and monitoring electric activities of the heart. This is done by placing the electrodes and clips in specific locations. Even though the heavy clinical or hospital-based ECG machines use up to 12 leads/channels with another three pairs each of limb and precordial leads, the portable ones intended for home-based use consists of only two main leads. Applying our expertise and knowledge to find the best pick from the varied options available, we found that there were some very good machines available at affordable prices. Thus, to make the right purchase decision, a consumer must evaluate based on the key requirements, features available, and the budget among other factors. 

Types of ECG Machines: There are several varieties of ECG machines available in the market today, ranging from a few thousand rupees to tens of thousands. The expensive ones are usually larger, more complex and their functionality is suited for hospitals. Here, the focus on this blog has been laid on the smaller machines that are more appropriate for home use. The ECG machines do not show the actual functioning of the heart and thus the measure of the electrical activities of the heart needs to be very accurate for the doctor or the patient to choose the further course of action. 

Accuracy and Effectiveness of Portable ECG Machine: The main objective of the Portable ECG Machine is to indicate the condition of the heart as per its electrical activities. Thus, the key selection criterion is to find one that produces accurate results within its operating range in a reliable and consistent way. This ensures that the course of action after measurement of the heart’s functioning will be the right one to counteract any abnormalities/ fluctuations detected. Most machines generally use the same mechanisms for recording data, they tend to differ in the materials used and the manufacturing quality. EKG does not directly show the actual functioning and movement of the heart; ECG measures the electrical activities which acts as a good indicator of the heart's performance. It is common for a normally functioning heart to have abnormal ECG readings. Some of the important functionalities and features that should be considered prior to make a purchase are:

  1. Memory- This allows you to save previous ECG readings and thus help in forming important statistics for the monitoring of your heart health. This is essential if you plan to show the results over a period to a doctor later.
  2. Way of recording data- This refers to where the monitors can take measurements. The area to which the monitor is restricted is also an important factor that people often overlook.
  3. Modes- Some monitors allow continuous monitoring. These are the ones that you should prefer for a better idea about the heart's overall functionality.
  4. Types of electrodes and other functions- Cardiologist can also refer electrodes as per your convenience. Other functionalities include multi-person memory, easy to use interface, etc.
With these points in mind, you can narrow down to the most suitable Portable ECG Machine for your home use.