What is an EKG Machine, and How Does It Work?

The purchase of an EKG machine is a significant investment for certain medical facilities.
When evaluating your options for EKG machines, it is essential to consider what will work
best financially and functionally for your practice.

If you currently have an EKG machine that is nearing the end of its service life, has
malfunctioned, or you are expanding your service capacity, then you will be in the
market for a machine.

What is EKG Machine?

Like ECG, EKG is the abbreviation for electrocardiogram, a test of a heart’s electrical activity and recording the data on a screen and printed on chart paper. An EKG is used to check the heart’s beat and rhythm for irregularities and issues that can show current or future health issues, like a heart attack or stroke.


In addition to providing information about your heart’s electrical activity, an EKG machine can reveal information about the size and function of your heart muscle and the chambers of your heart.

Who Uses an EKG Machine?

Clinics, hospitals, cardiologists, doctors, and other medical professionals use EKG machines
regularly. There are portable forms of EKG technology prescribed to certain patients for home use to provide longer-term monitoring.


These devices are essential for evaluating heart rhythm, poor blood flow to the heart, and other heart abnormalities, like unusual electrical conduction and whether a heart attack has occurred.

How Does an EKG Work?

A standard EKG machine has 12 leads with electrodes connected to the body in various
locations. These electrodes measure electrical signals coming from the heart. They monitor the heart’s electrical activity in three directions – up and down, right to left, and front to back.


The heart beats due to an electrical impulse produced and transferred from the sinoatrial (SA) node located within the heart. This node regulates the pace of your heart. An EKG can monitor the electrical energy path from the SA node and through the heart.


The data collected about the course of this electrical energy can help a doctor diagnose any
issue causing the patient to have an irregular heartbeat.


EKG supplies called electrodes, mentioned above, are small metal discs placed on the skin.
They pick up electrical signals from the heart and record these impulses, giving doctors a clear
picture of heart activity.


EKG data can also inform professionals if the heart is enlarged or overworked, conditions
associated with heart valve issues, or heart disease.


An EKG test requires no special preparation in advance. The patient lies on a bed or table.
The medical professionals will clean certain areas of the patient’s body where electrodes will be
attached. These areas are usually on the chest, back, ankles, and wrists. The wires that connect to the electrodes and link up with the EKG machine are called leads.