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About Handheld ECG Monitors

written by: Lashan Clarke • edited by: lrohner • updated: 12/31/2010

The ECG machine has been a life-saving machine since its creation in 1887. The machine has evolved into a handheld version of the older device that is suitable for home use. The handheld ECG monitor is perfect for medical professionals to monitor the activity of the heart while at home.

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    What Is An ECG?

    A handheld ECG monitor is one of the most important advancements of this century. patients who need to be placed on an ECG machine are no longer made to wait. A handheld ECG monitor or an electrocardiogram monitor is used to produce a graph called an electrocardiogram.

    An electrcardiogram (ECG) is taken of the heart, and this machine is used in hospitals and physician’s offices to measure the electrical activity of the heart. By using an electrocardiogram, a medical professional is able to tell if parts of the heart has been damaged and where the damaged occurred. Therefore, these machines show the electrical activity of the heart printed out on a graph, and a damaged area of the heart will not have the same graphical output as a healthy heart.

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    A Brief History of The ECG Machine

    The first ECG was created in 1887 by Augustus D. Waller. He was a physiologist from England. The machine used involved was quite cumbersome to use and involved a capillary electrometer that measured and recorded the electricity within the heart. This first ECG was created after more than 100 years of debates on whether there was electrical activity within the body, especially the heat. However, at the time that Waller created the first ECG, it had already been confirmed at least 30 years before that the electrical activity of the heart existed and could be measured.

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    The Handheld ECG Monitor

    Many years later, the ECG machine is no longer cumbersome in size and has become more refined at measuring the electrical activity of the heart. Previous improvements have included placing the machine on wheels. It was thought that by placing the current machine on wheels, it could be carried to critically ill patients who should not be moved, instead of bringing the patient to the machine as in the past.

    At the moment, the handheld ECG device is less than one fourth the size of the machines previously used in hospitals and doctor’s offices. A handheld ECG monitor is about the same of a handheld child’s computer game. In a few of its characteristics, it functions in the same way as a regular ECG machine.

    One advantage is that a health professional who would like to measure the electrical activity of the patient’s heart over a certain time can give this portable device to the patient for home use. Another advantage of using a handheld ecg monitor is that a patient who has a history of heart disease can be monitored for any problems occurring in the heart.

    The patient can have its electrical heart activity measured and this information can be sent to a computer where a health professional can view how the person’s heart is functioning. By using a portable device, it might be possible to prevent major damage to the heart or even death of the person, just by closely monitoring how the heart is functioning.

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