The pulsating electrical signals that make your heart beat generate tiny electrical voltage changes that can be picked up by electrode patches that are applied to the torso area. This data is interpreted and displayed as waves on an electrocardiogram machine (ecg).
During the test, you will be asked to remove any upper clothing. The care provider may shave areas where hair could interfere with the electrodes sticking to your skin. Then up to 12 sensors (electrodes) are attached to your chest and limbs with sticky pads. A computer then reads the information, which can be printed and analyzed. The test typically takes less than a minute.
The Science Behind ECG: How These Devices Provide Vital Heart Insights
Medical-grade ECG monitors pick up signals from the heart more accurately than personal at-home devices, but they also require that you wear a garment that allows your skin to be clear and dry (sweat, lotions, or other oils can interfere with the readings). Some of these devices are worn around the wrist and are easily portable for monitoring on-the-go.
Many of these devices are designed to detect a specific type of arrhythmia, like atrial fibrillation (Afib). However, it’s important to keep in mind that these devices aren’t meant to diagnose heart disease or replace regular doctor visits and other tests.
The SonoHealth Eko Duo is a good choice for home use because it does not require gels or patches and has a simple-to-use mobile app. It also has the ability to amplify heart sounds up to 32 times. It also has a two-year warranty and accepts HSA or FSA payments.