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Electrocardiograms (ECG) are devices that doctors can use to record the heart’s electrical activity. Portable devices are also available for people who wish to monitor their heart health at home.
- Best for easily sharing reports: EMAY Portable ECG Monitor | Skip to review
- Best for a mobile device ECG: AliveCor KardiaMobile | Skip to review
- Best for an easy-to-read display: FaceLake FL10 | Skip to review
- Best for a medical-grade ECG: Eko DUO ECG + Digital Stethoscope | Skip to review
- Best wearable ECG: Wellue Duoek Portable ECG Monitor | Skip to review
- Best FDA-cleared ECG: KardiaMobile 6L | Skip to review
- Best blood pressure and EKG monitor in one: Omron Complete Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor + EKG | Skip to review
People should not use personal ECG monitors to diagnose or treat heart conditions. If a person believes they may have a heart condition, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for easily sharing reports: EMAY Portable ECG Monitor
- List price: around $99
- Dimensions: 3.94 x 1.77 x 0.59 inches (in)
- Warranty: 12 months
- Special feature: Ability to save, view, print, and share reports.
This portable ECG monitor is compact, allowing a person to carry it in their pocket. It is compatible with most smartphones.
Other features include the ability to record 30 seconds of a person’s heart rate and rhythm and an iOS/Android app for saving, viewing, printing, and sharing reports.
People can use this device by placing their hands on the sensors on either side of the ECG monitor and holding still for 30 seconds. They can then sync their data to their smartphone.
- comes with a warranty, which some competitors do not
- no leads or patches required
- positive reviewers comment on ability to connect the device to their smartphones
- some reviews mention that the device is not as accurate as hospital ECGs
- may be difficult to use for those without a smartphone
Best for a mobile device ECG: AliveCor KardiaMobile
- List price: around $79
- Dimensions: 3.2 x 1.3 x 0.14 in
- Warranty: 30-days return policy
- Special feature: Compatible with mobile app which does not require wires or patches.
The KardiaMobile does not require any wires or patches. An individual can simply place the sensors on the back of their smartphone and press their fingers to the device. They can then save and share their readings with a doctor.
This device is compatible with most smart devices. It is compatible with the iPhone 5 and later models, a wide range of Android devices, and most iPads.
AliveCor accepts health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible savings accounts (FSA) as payment.
- some positive reviews comment on being easy to use, comfortable, and durable
- no wires or patches required
- compatible with most smart devices
- reviews mention the company provides a confusing instruction manual
- some reviews comment on difficulty connecting the device to their smartphones
- the product only comes with a 30-day return policy rather than a warranty
Best for an easy-to-read display: FaceLake FL10
- List price: around $66
- Dimensions: 3.94 x 1.77 x 0.59 in
- Warranty: 30-day return policy
- Special feature: LCD screen with an easy-to-read display.
The FaceLake FL10 has a 1.77-in LCD screen with an easy-to-read display.
People can adjust the reading time and see real-time heartbeat displays.
FaceLake offers an iOS app and an Android app that can store and save readings. People can also print out or download a PDF to share their readings with a doctor.
- cheaper price than many competitors
- positive reviews comment on the device being easy to use
- reviews say they found it convenient being able to share data with their doctors
- some reviews mention inaccurate readings if a person moves while taking the measurements
- FaceLake only offers a 30-day returns policy rather than a warranty
Best for a medical-grade ECG: Eko DUO ECG + Digital Stethoscope
- List price: around $399
- Dimensions: no information available
- Warranty: 2-year warranty
- Special feature: Amplification of sounds of the heart up to 32 times.
This ECG monitor works by placing the device against the chest and looking at the readings in the Eko app.
This device features single-button controls and Bluetooth connectivity. People can choose to add an earpiece that connects to the Eko Duo to their purchase.
Eko states that a person can amplify the sounds of their heart up to 32 times. The company also states that this device is suitable for healthcare professionals.
Eko accepts HSA and FSA as payment.
- company states the product is suitable for healthcare professionals
- comes with a lengthy two-year warranty
- positive reviews mention the device delivered clear sounds to those with hearing aids
- some reviews mention the device is difficult to use on people with a high or low body mass
- expensive product in comparison to competitors
- no information available regarding dimensions
Best wearable ECG: Wellue Duoek Portable ECG Monitor
- List price: around $89
- Dimensions: 3.6 x 1.3 x 0.3 in
- Warranty: 1-year warranty
- Special feature: Four different ways to measure, including wearable chest strap.
A person can take their ECG measurement four different ways using this monitor:
- by holding the device with both hands
- by holding one side of the device and touching the other side to the left leg
- holding the device to the chest
- attaching the device to the chest strap and wearing this across the front of the chest
A person’s readings are available in the free app. This app provides unlimited data storage and allows users to share information with their doctor.
- allows people to measure their ECG four different ways
- provides a 1-year warranty
- many reviews mention the product is accurate and easy to use
- customer reviews mention that they wish there was an option to obtain a longer recording
- the device does not have FDA clearance
Best FDA-cleared ECG: KardiaMobile 6L
- List price: around $149
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.18 x 0.28 in
- Warranty: 1-year warranty
- Special feature: Six-lead technology, with two sensors on top and one on the bottom.
This product from Kardia features six leads and three sensors. A person takes their ECG reading by placing two fingers or thumbs on top and placing the sensor on the bottom on the skin of their left leg. A person can monitor these readings in the Kardia app.
The device has FDA-clearance, and the company says the recordings are medical-grade and clinically approved.
Kardia accepts FSA and HSA card payments.
- comes with a 1-year warranty
- device has FDA clearance
- customer reviews comment on the product being easy to use
- expensive in comparison to some competitors
- uses replaceable batteries rather than being rechargeable
- many negative reviewers state they could not get the device to work
Best blood pressure and EKG monitor in one: Omron Complete Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor + EKG
- List price: around $200
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.25 x 9.75 in
- Warranty: 5-year warranty, excluding the arm cuff, which has a 1-year warranty
- Special feature: Doubles as a blood pressure monitor.
This product can simultaneously measure EKG and blood pressure using the durable and contoured wide-range D-cuff. According to the company, this cuff should fit arms 9-17 inches in diameter.
A person can see their reading immediately on the display screen. Additionally, they can share this information with their doctor if they wish using the app.
The app also allows users to store readings.
- can take blood pressure as well as EKG readings
- lengthy warranty on everything but the arm cuff
- positive reviewers mention that the product is accurate and convenient once they work out how to use the app
- expensive in comparison to some competitors
- bulkier than regular EKG monitors
- some reviewers mention difficulty with connecting to and using the app
The following table compares the at-home ECG monitors in this article.
|EMAY||$99||12 months||3.94 x 1.77 x 0.59 in||PC and smartphone|
|AliveCor KardiaMobile||$79||30-day return policy||3.2 x 1.3 x 0.14 in||smartphones and tablets|
|FaceLake||around $66||30-day return policy||3.94 x 1.77 x 0.59 in||iOS and Android app|
|Eko DUO||$399||2 years||no information available||Bluetooth|
|Wellue||$89||1 year||3.6 x 1.3 x 0.3 in||smartphones via Bluetooth|
|AliveCor KardiaMobile 6L||$149||1 year||3.5 x 1.18 x 0.28 in||smartphones and tablets|
|Omron||around $200||5 years excluding the arm cuff, which is 1 year||5.5 x 5.25 x 9.75 in||select iOS and Android devices|
ECGs are a type of equipment that doctors may use in a hospital or clinic to record a person’s heart’s electrical activity. They create an electrical “map” of the heart from the outside.
ECG machines come with sensors that attach to a person’s skin. This allows them to record the electrical signals that the heart produces.
At-home ECG monitors have built-in sensors that record the heart’s activity. People can hold their fingers against these sensors or wear them on their wrists or body.
Some devices also feature built-in screens that allow users to view their heart rhythm. People can also buy products that they can connect to a smartphone to collect their data. They can then share their readings with a doctor.
Medical News Today chose portable ECG monitors that fit the following criteria:
- Customer reviews: We chose products that have a high average customer rating.
- Price: We chose products available in a wide range of budgets.
- Ease of use: We chose products suitable for people of all ages.
An individual should speak with a doctor to decide which at-home ECG monitor is best for their needs.
Below are some factors that people may wish to consider when looking for an at-home ECG monitor:
- Connectivity: Some ECG monitors come with Bluetooth connectivity and can connect to smartphone devices to track the user’s data and readings.
- Memory: This allows the user to save previous readings, which can be useful if they want to share results with a doctor.
- Size: If a person intends to use an ECG monitor while traveling, they should check its dimensions to ensure that it fits in their pocket.
- Measurement time: Most devices take 30 seconds to take one reading.
Several portable ECG monitors are available to buy online. People should carefully read the product descriptions to ensure they purchase the right device for their needs.
Many of these ECG monitors are unsuitable for individuals with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators. If a person has any of these devices, they should contact a doctor before making a purchase.
Doctors may use ECGs to detect several health conditions.
A person can also use portable ECG monitors at home to check their heart rate and rhythm and use the data to discuss any symptoms or patterns with a doctor.
Conditions that ECGs can detect
The United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) states that ECGs can detect certain heart conditions. These include the following.
Arrhythmia is a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. A person’s heart may beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.
This condition affects
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease affects around
The condition occurs when fatty substances build up inside the lining of the coronary arteries and block the heart’s blood supply. Doctors may diagnose coronary artery disease by using an ECG.
A heart attack occurs when the heart does not have enough blood supply. Some people may not notice that they have had a heart attack.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
Doctors may use ECGs to detect this condition. However, if a person has any symptoms of a heart attack, they should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Using an ECG monitor at home
Personal ECG monitors are similar to the ECGs that doctors use. An individual may use these devices to monitor their heart health at home.
However, a person should never use a personal ECG monitor as a replacement for medical advice. If they have any symptoms that may indicate the presence of an underlying health condition — such as heart palpitations, dizziness, or fainting — they should seek immediate medical advice.
People should follow all manufacturer instructions when using a portable ECG monitor.
Although instructions may vary, some general tips for using a portable ECG include:
- not using the ECG monitor while exercising, as the measurement is less likely to be accurate
- staying still while using the ECG monitor
- placing the sensor on an area where it can register a pulse, including the fingers, wrist, or chest
- taking measurements on dry skin
- taking measurements on bare, hairless skin
- removing any jewelry that would be close to the sensors
A portable ECG monitor is not a replacement for medical advice. If a person’s reading shows any unusual heart rhythms, they should seek medical advice immediately.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
- Following a nutritious diet: People should try to eat foods that are low in saturated fats and add fruits and vegetables to their diets.
- Exercising regularly: Individuals should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: The CDC says people who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of heart disease.
- Avoiding or stopping smoking: This also applies to individuals who do not smoke, as they can still develop heart disease or lung cancer from secondhand smoke.
- Managing medical conditions: People with conditions that increase their risk of heart disease should ensure they stay on top of managing these conditions. These include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
People who are monitoring their heart health should also attend follow-up appointments and contact a doctor if they notice any new or worsening symptoms.
People should contact a doctor if they believe they are experiencing any symptoms that may indicate a heart condition. These symptoms can include:
A doctor will perform tests to diagnose any conditions that can affect heart health. They will also determine a treatment plan to monitor and treat any symptoms of a heart condition.
When to seek emergency medical attention
People who are experiencing the following symptoms should seek emergency attention:
- chest pain
- pain in other parts of the body that may travel
- lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- shortness of breath
- nausea and vomiting
- overwhelming anxiety
- coughing or wheezing
These symptoms may indicate a heart attack.
Here we answer some common questions about these devices.
What is the difference between EKG and ECG?
EKG and ECG are different abbreviations for the same test, an electrocardiogram.
Is an ECG the same as a heart monitor?
Yes, an ECG monitors the heart’s electrical activity.
What is ECG monitoring for?
ECG monitoring can help a person to monitor heart rate and heart rhythm. This allows individuals with certain health conditions to track and monitor their heart activity.
In addition, a person may use ECG monitoring when their doctor is considering a possible diagnosis of a certain health condition.
How much does an ECG monitor cost?
This depends on the brand of monitor and if it has any special features, which may up the cost. Based on this list, a person should expect to pay between around $66-$399.
Portable ECG monitors can be useful for people who wish to monitor their heart health at home or when traveling.
Various brands manufacture these types of devices. A person should check the features they offer and choose one that is most suitable for their needs.
People should not use these devices to diagnose or treat a medical condition. If a person believes they may have a heart condition, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible.