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The EKG Machine: Its History And What It Is Today

An electrocardiogram machine (also known as EKG or ECG machine) is a device used to record or measure the electrical activity of the heart. The heartbeat is measured through electrical impulses (also known as waves) that travels through the heart. Typically, a 12-lead EKG only uses 10 electrodes. These electrodes are placed on the body, specifically the limbs and the chest. It is depicted to be placed similarly to an upside down triangle, where the electrodes connect the outstretched arms through the chest. When an EKG is performed, no pain is associated with it. However, patients may feel slight discomfort when the EKG “stickers” are removed from the surface of the body.

EKG History

EKG has come a long way since it was first invented. Alexander Muirhead, an electrical engineer, was credited to have been the first to record the first EKG between 1869 to 1872. A British physiologist by the name of Augustus Waller also produced his own method in recording the electrical activity of the heart. In 1887, his version of an EKG comprised of a Lippmann capillary electrometer that was fixed to a projector. Later in 1901, Willem Einthoven invented the first practical electrocardiogram. As a doctor and physiologist, he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his invention.

Today, EKGs are used in many medical facilities, private clinics, doctor’s offices, and even patient’s homes. As today’s society is focused on being health conscious, EKGs are being used more and more. Often, health professionals and patients use the Internet to search for an EKG machine for sale. A doctor may need a new EKG machine for his new practice. A patient may need it in their home to closely monitor a cardiac-related condition.

EKG machines play a vital role in any medical setting. It can provide essential information about a patient’s condition and can very well save lives. As heart disease is on the rise, an EKG machine is one of the most important devices any health professional should have no matter the setting.


With technological advancements today, we take a look at an article dated January 4th of 2018. The article talks about the future of EKGs. A company named HeartSciences has developed a new medical device. It says they have made advancements in the field of electrocardiology. The device was created using up-to-date research in understanding heart disease. It utilizes “wavelet mathematics and artificial intelligence.” The article goes on to describe the device. Named “MyoVista hsECG (high sensitivity ECG),” the device significantly improves an electrocardiogram machine by “detecting schemic and structural heart disease at an early stage.”

The article moves forward to give its readers some background information about the company. It says that HeartSciences is based in Southlake, Texas. The company was previously named Heart Test Laboratories. The company aims to make enhancements to cardiac machines and diagnostics by utilizing advances in techniques and technology while keeping the cost low. They aim to provide “effective solutions” by aiding in the identification of “at-risk patients”.

Types Of EKG Tests

In another article dated June of 2017, it describes two other types of EKG tests. These are supplemental EKG tests that health professionals may recommend.

The first alternate EKG test mentioned is called a “Holter monitor.” This device is described to be portable and checks the electrical activity of the heart for a couple of days in a consecutive 24-hour time period. This EKG test is recommended to patients of doctor’s who suspect an “abnormal heart rhythm” or for those who may not have “enough blood flow” to the heart muscle. Like conventional EKGs, this type is also painless. The electrodes are “taped to the skin” where it will start monitoring the heart’s activities. A patient may continue their day to day activities but cannot shower because of the electrodes present on the body’s surface.

The second supplemental EKG test is called an “event monitor.” An event monitor is used when symptoms only occur periodically. The patient “presses a button” to start the recording of the heart’s electrical activity. This data is then sent to the attending physician’s mobile phone. The physician will receive the data and analyze the information. This is an example of an advancement in EKG tests. It utilizes technological advancements of today, like the use of mobile phones, to obtain vital information about a patient’s condition.

EKG has tremendously helped the lives of many patients around the world. It is found in many medical settings and is now considered a basic test for any patient experiencing cardiac-related conditions.