There are a variety of handheld ECG monitor types, a.k.a. portable EKG machines, available in the today’s marketplace. It is especially encouraging and empowering to the patient that many of them are designed for use by patients and their caregivers at home.
We will present here three great reasons why using a hand held ECG monitor at home is an idea worth pursuing. They are – miniaturization of ECG monitors has made these devices highly portable and convenient for use just about anywhere, the ECG interpretation information is becoming inexpensively, and widely available, and, finally, the cost.
Miniature portable ECG monitors
Using ECG monitors at home is becoming easier due to the extremely small size of the device. The wires (electrodes) can be organized in a simple plastic belt, and the monitor device itself can be as small as the credit card, and as thin as 0.4 in. This makes a modern portable ECG Cardiac tamponade ECG easy to wear by anyone, and for extended periods of time. Also, due to a smartly organized all-in-one electrode wire design, the shorts are highly unlikely. Some manufacturers even introduced wireless connection between the electrodes and the main unit, reducing the amount of wires and increasing the comfort even further. Both the electrode part of the unit would have a wireless transceiver built in, and the main unit would feature a wireless transceiver as well. Then, the main unit can optionally be worn on the patient’s body, or it could even be removed and kept at a small distance.
ECG test interpretation is becoming accessible
There are several books and how-to guides available for purchase and with them, even a lay person can become an expert in reading ECG recorder printouts. That is not to say that an expert doctors opinion is still the best way to go, but, by being able to read your own ECG signals, you will be better prepared to know when to go ahead and call a doctor or show up in the emergency room. Good education just adds an additional layer of safety, if it is not overdone. Although many doctors would disagree by saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, as long as you are conscious enough of the limitations of your knowledge, and do not rely on your own opinion entirely, and are perfectly willing to call a doctor when you see or feel a problem, you should be okay. Some doctors will even be able to suggest treatment changes such as medication changes by checking the data from the ECG remotely.
Finally, handheld ECG equipment cost vs. cost of hospital stay
All but the most recent wireless portable ECG units have experienced the transition into the mainstream electronics, and consequently, the prices of handheld ECG monitors have begun to fall into the highly affordable territory. There are several US and Chinese manufacturers that are all designing and manufacturing highly reliable devices, at a good price. The price of handheld ECG monitors is especially appealing when compared to the cost of an overnight stay at the hospital to perform ECG measurements, or even compared to a single specialist visit.