What Everyone Should Know About the ECG Monitor

The heart is the most crucial organ in the body as it does most of the work. That is why when you visit a hospital, the doctor may begin by checking your heart rate. Typically, an ECG/EKG monitor is among the best tools for this task. 

This article presents a relatively comprehensive introduction concerning ECG monitor, from what it is to how to interpret it. Please scroll down for more information about ECG monitors.

What is ECG?

ECG, the abbreviated phrase for electrocardiogram, is a heart test that checks the heart’s electrical activity. Modern ECG monitors record the results with a moving line on the screen.

An ECG monitor analyzes the heart rhythm. As you may already know, your heart must beat in a specific rhythm, generating heartbeats. The ECG monitor will read these beats and detect irregularities and any cardiac problems that may be fatal. An ECG test, for instance, can help heart specialists detect potential stroke or heart attack risks.

How does an ECG work?

1. What are the physiology and function of the heart?

To understand how an ECG works, it’s crucial to know the physiology and function of the heart. Here is a brief description:

A heart operates independently, but it does not act alone. Instead, it works with the other parts of the body, including the brain and, in particular, the central nervous system, which initiates emotional arousal. When you are sad, stressed, happy, excited, or anxious about going through any emotion, the heart is aroused to react to those emotions.

So, monitoring the physiological and emotional arousal of the heart through biosensors can determine any stress on the heart that could lead to more serious issues later. And since the heart is closely linked to arousal, it’s an excellent tool for understanding mental states better.


2. How does the ECG monitor work?

An ECG is one of the most reliable tests used in such exercises. ECG represents the heart’s functions and how it is affected by other body activities.

When an ECG test is conducted, the ECG electrodes are attached to the skin. The monitor will record the signal strength and timings in a P wave graph. Classic monitors depend on patches and wires attaching electrodes to the skin and transferring the ECG traces to the receiver.

Interpretation of an ECG

ECG interpretation involves an assessment of the morphology (appearance) of the waves and intervals on the ECG curve on the tracings. ECG interpretation, therefore, requires a structured assessment of waves and intervals and a basic understanding of the tracings.

1.Four waves

Four entities defined by their unique patterns or waves will represent a normal entry. These include:

  • P-waves

P-waves stand for atrial depolarization. In healthy individuals, there should be a P wave preceding each QRS complex.

  • QRS-waves

Also, QRS complex, these waves represent ventricular depolarization. It appears as three closely related waves on the ECG (the Q, R, and S waves).

  • T-waves

When T-waves are recorded, it means ventricular repolarization. It appears as a small wave after the QRS complex.

  • U-waves

As you may have already guessed, these waves mean papillary muscle repolarization.

Changes in the heart’s structure and surroundings affect how these four waves are recorded. However, the U-wave is uncommon, so experts often ignore its absence.

Atrial Fibrillation ECG wave

2. Four intervals

There is a predictable time between all the waves. They also have a predictable voltage and a clear morphology, and any small deviation could be clinically significant.

  • PR interval

PR interval is recorded from the start of the P waves to where the QRS starts. It indicates the duration of time needed for the electrical impulse to progress from the sinoatrial node through the atrioventricular node.

  • QRS-interval

QRS interval stands for rapid depolarization of the ventricles. A much larger amplitude is recorded compared to the PR because ventricles have greater muscle mass.

  • ST segment

ST section connects the QRS wave and the T wave. It’s the time at which ventricle depolarization takes place,

  • QT interval

QT interval is the interval from where the QRS complex starts to where the T wave ends. Various acceptable ranges depend on the heart rate. It must be corrected to the QT.

Intervals are measured depending on the waves. The results will then be analyzed for any abnormal readings to determine the best approach where necessary.

Atrial Flutter ECG wave

3. Four features of tracing chart

  • Background Grid

ECG results are recorded on a grid, with the time represented on the horizontal axis and the voltage recorded on the vertical axis. A precise recording is expected in all ECG monitors, or one must know the amplitude scaling or time.

  • Rate

Normal heart rate refers to the rate of depolarization of the sinoatrial node. A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 bpm in adults and can be slightly higher in children. When the atria and the ventricles are not synchronized, a complication is recorded, and a heart rate should record as per the atrial ventricular recording specifically.

  •  Rhythm

A normal heart rhythm is recorded as a normal sinus rhythm (NSR) when the heart rests. In this case, certain patterns of P, QRS, and T waves are recorded. Any deviation from the normal figures is called cardiac arrhythmia. P and QRS waves must appear 1-to-1 in a sinus rhythm.

  •  Axis

The most common heart axis is that of the QRS complex. Each axis can be determined by the resulting representation of degrees of deviation from zero. The overall direction of ventricular depolarization wavefront records the QRS axis.

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) ecg wave

Common Abnormalities in Critical Care

1.Atrial Fibrillation 

Rhythm: Irregular 

Rate: A: 350 – 650; V: varies 

P: poorly defined 

P-R: N/A 

QRS: narrow complex 

S-T: normal 

T: normal 

Q-T: normal

2.Atrial Flutter 

Rhythm: Regular / Irregular 

Rate: A: 220 – 430; V:<300(2:1, 3:1 or sometimes 4:1) 

P: saw-toothed appearance 

Q-R: N/S 

QRS: narrow complex 

R-T: normal 

T: normal 

Q-T: normal

3.Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Rhythm: Regula 

Rate: >100 

P: not visible 

P-R: not defined 

QRS: narrow complex 

S-T: depression (sometimes) 

T: normal 

Q-T: prolonged (sometimes)

Types of ECG

Typically, ECG monitors can be put into two main categories: home/sports ECG and hospital ECG.

1. Hospital ECG

A hospital ECG monitor can be used alongside other tests to diagnose and monitor cardiac conditions. The heart is normally the first organ to check when patients come with chest pain, palpitation, dizziness, and shortness of breath. An ECG test makes identifying or ruling out any possible issues easy.

Advantages include the detection of:

  • Arrhythmias (too slow, too fast, or irregular heartbeats.
  • Coronary heart disease (blood supply issues in the heart).
  • Heart attacks
  • Cardiomyopathy (thickened or enlarged heart walls.

Limitations include:

  • Hospital ECG monitor requires a highly qualified individual to read the results, or they can potentially miss the point.
  • Even though an ECG monitor gives accurate results, some conditions can be missed.

2. Home/Sports ECG

A home/sport ECG monitor is a portable device that allows users to conveniently monitor their heart rates at home. It boils down to giving your healthcare team the data to accurately diagnose a heart condition or dismiss one.

Home/sport ECG’s advantages include:

  • Easy to use.
  • Very effective in preventing potential cardiac-related issues.
  • Accurate and fast results.

Disadvantages include:

  • Reading the results at home can be hard if you don’t know how.
  • Some cardiac abnormalities that can risk athletes may not be seen.

ECG personal monitors are ideally suited to nursing homes and home care facilities to monitor the condition and progress of the patients. Since inexpensive and high-quality portable ECG monitors are available and little training is required to perform the measurements, this service can be made universally available to individuals. With some training, medical center personnel can learn to recognize abnormal readings, and in an emergency, the data can be relayed immediately to a doctor or hospital. 

Hand-held ECGs can also be used in doctors’ offices as part of the routine. Measurements are quick and easy.                                                                              

ECG Current Market Performance and Future Trend

ECG monitor has gained immense popularity across the world in the past few decades. With the adoption of new technologies, it might only be a matter of time before everyone has a portable heart monitor. This small wearable device that tracks the heart rhythm by detecting minute heart electrical signals is quite handy in keeping tabs on the heart’s health. 

The global ECG market enjoyed a market value of $9.2 billion in 2021, with a projection of $21.7 billion by 2030. The ECG market is predicted to reach a CAGR of 10% from 2022 to 2030.[1] Additionally, the current market is mainly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s easier to monitor cardiac rhythm alternatives of the pandemic at the molecular level. Hence, it offers guidance for its treatment. Even after the pandemic, we expect to see growth in the production and demand of ECG devices. 


wearable ECG monitors, ECG holter monitors, resting electrocardiograms, sports heart rate monitors

A home/exercise ECG provides one of the easiest ways to keep track of your general health. ECG is a medical device with high requirements in terms of design and manufacture. Therefore it is advisable to choose a company with full certification to obtain the most accurate data possible.

Viatom is committed to designing and manufacturing healthcare products, such as ECG/EKG, that are easier to use so that people can achieve health more easily. We offer a wide selection of ECG monitors, allowing you to monitor the heart efficiently. From Viatom, you can get wearable ECG monitors, ECG Holter monitors, resting electrocardiograms, sports heart rate monitors, 12-lead ECG monitors and more. Please get in touch with us for more information if you are interested.

[1] Electrocardiograph (ECG) Market. Available at: