Home ECG Monitor: Benefits & Uses

A handheld home ECG machine may save your life.


Personal ECG monitor (electrocardiogram or EKG) offers many benefits beyond its bigger brother, the traditional 12-lead ECG machine. The home ECG portable monitor is handheld, simple-to-use, convenient, and low cost. The cardiac monitoring can occur any time at home and measurements are available and recorded within minutes. The portable EKG machine is light and compact. Using it is simpler than taking one's blood pressure.

Cardiac events can occur irregularly and not during the doctor's office. By doing home ecg monitoring, the condition can be captured and saved to be analyzed by a doctor at a later time. The best time to take a reading is when you are not feeling well and experienced some warning signs of heart attack.

When a patient is not feeling well, the patient and family can immediately take a reading using a ecg monitoring device, assess the situation and take appropriate actions. Without the information, the patient may be reluctant to seek medical help and wait for a few more hours to see if he gets better. One should immediately seek help if the measurement is significantly differed from the norm.

EKG machine is an essential tool in sleep apnea study. Research has shown that obstructive sleep apnea alters healthy heart rate dynamics. During periods of prolonged obstructive sleep apnea, the heart rate typically shows cyclic fluctuation associated with the apneic phase and the resumption of breathing. By analyzing the ECG data, a study has shown that obstructive sleep apnea could be detected in over 93% of the test cases. In 2000, PhysioNet and Computers in Cardiology had issued a challenge to researchers on finding new algorithms in "Detecting and quantifying sleep apnea based on the ECG." Many entries were submitted with outstanding results. ECG monitor is a standard tool in the diagnosis of sleep apnea.

Handheld EKG monitoring can reduce the chance of having false heart attack, which can cause tons of stress and anxiety, and in turn may trigger a real heart attack. This "heart attack experience" had made the author to build a home-made heart monitoring system.

Proper interpretation of EKG would require extensive training. However a patient should be able to tell if he is feeling well and if there is any changes to the waveform.

A home ECG monitor is an alternative to a Holter monitor. A Holter monitor is a machine for recording the heart's rhythms. The monitor has multiple leads and is usually worn for 24 - 48 hours during normal activity. It can detect cardiac episodes that occur daily. For tracking infrequent cardiac events, a Holter monitor is not sufficient. Furthermore, wearing the machine is not comfortable.

A patient can use the EKG portable monitor to gauge the effects of changes in medicine and his progress.

ECG personal monitor is well suitable for nursing homes and home care providers to monitor their patients' conditions and progress. Since inexpensive and quality portable ECG monitors are available and little training is required to take measurements, the service can be made commonly available to patients. With some training, personnel in healthcare centers can learn identifying abnormal readings and in case of emergency, the data can be relayed to a doctor or hospital immediately.

The handheld ECG monitor can also be used doctor's office as part of the regular routine. Taking a measurement is fast and ease.