Electrocardiographic Monitoring: What Is EKG Machine & How Does It Work

what is ekg machine

Many people experience irregular heartbeats from time to time, noticeable mainly during various activities, such as exercise, bowel movements, eating, sex, stress, and even sleeping. Thankfully, irregular heartbeats can be easily diagnosed and serious heart problems can be prevented by simply recording the electrical activity of the heart with the help of an electrocardiograph or EKG machine.

What is EKG machine?

Electrocardiograph, also called EKG, ECG, or simply cardiograph, is a medical instrument used for detecting and diagnosing common heart abnormalities by measuring heartbeat triggering electric potentials on the body surface and recording electrical currents associated with activity of a heart muscle. In other words, EKG machine is a galvanometric device that variations or contractions in the electrical conduction system of the heart, thus evaluating the heart’s health. The working principle of EKG is: to pick up the cardiac tissue-generated electrical impulses (polarization & depolarization), translate those impulses into a waveform (electrocardiogram), which is then used to measure the following:

  • regularity & rate of heartbeats;
  • position & size of the cardiac chambers;
  • presence of any heart damage;
  • effects of drugs or heart-regulating devices (pacemaker), etc.

Still, electrocardiograph is not recommended as a routine screening procedure in patients, unless the latter have clear symptoms associated with the heart problem or are above the low risk for coronary heart disease, because EKG overuse may supply incorrect supporting evidence for a problem that doesn’t exist, thus leading to a misdiagnosis, overtreatment, and even greater health risk. That’s why, there exist general symptoms that indicate the use of electrocardiography, and here we include:

  • myocardial infarction symptoms;
  • pulmonary embolism symptoms;
  • perceived cardiac dysrhythmias;
  • seizures;
  • cardiac murmurs;
  • syncope or collapse.


Electrocardiographic Monitoring Devices: Ambulatory EKG Monitors vs. Portable EKG Machines

portable ekg machine

Irregular heartbeats may be a symptom of a serious heart problem, and their importance depends mainly on the pattern type they produce, how long they last and how often they occur and others. All this can be monitored with the help of ambulatory EKG monitor, which is a piece of equipment for the heart’s function continual observation. Ambulatory monitors can be divided into several types:

  • continuous recorder (the most common type that, unlike standard EKG monitors able to monitor around 40-50 heartbeats when attached to the machine, can provide a continuous 24- to 72-hour recording of your heart’s electrical signals, thus monitoring about 100,000 heartbeats and finding any heart problem occurring during activity);
  • intermittent recorder (unlike a continuous recorder can be used for a longer time, esp. when an abnormal heart rhythm’s symptoms don’t occur very often).

Unfortunately, ambulatory monitors lack the feature of portability, which is inevitable for people, who need their heartbeats monitored and measured instantly when symptoms occur. For this purpose, special portable handheld monitoring devices or portable EKG machines are used. It doesn’t matter whether you are at home or away, with the help of these you’ll always be able to detect, display and record heart rate & ECG strips anytime and anywhere, and use them to assist the doctor in correct diagnosing of symptoms. The most popular models are: Easy ECG Handheld Monitor FP180, ReadMyHeart Handheld ECG-EKG Monitor FP-RMH, InstantCheck Handheld ECG-EKG Monitor FP-ICH, Dimetek Micro Ambulatory ECG Recorder, etc.


Burdick EKG Machines: Safeguarding Your Heart’s Health

Burdick is a well-known brand of a leading supplier of EKG machines to physician’s offices. It’s a quality brand that has over 50 years of trusted experience in making user-friendly EKG equipment, both reliable and intuitive. Here are some of the Burdick’s most popular models: Burdick 8300 EKG, Burdick 8500 EKG, Burdick Atria 3000 EKG, Burdick Atria 3100 EKG, Burdick Eclipse E10-1AE17 Premiere EKG, Burdick Eclipse 800 EKG, Burdick Eclipse 850 EKG, Burdick E350 EKG, Burdick EK10 EKG, Burdick Elite II Interpretive EKG and others.

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