An ECG or an EKG – it’s an electrocardiogram. It shows you the electrical activity of the heart. But how do you do one at home? I’m going to show you how to do a 24-hour EKG at home using this little device, the Wellue 24 Hour ECG Recorder.
About the ECG
As the electrical signal travels through the heart, that signal can be recorded using an ECG – an electrocardiogram. An ECG has different parts:
- The P wave – this shows the depolarization of the atria
- The QRS complex/interval – this shows the depolarization of the ventricles
- The T wave – This shows the repolarization of the ventricles.
The ECG gives you an idea of how well the heart is functioning and can cue you in when there are issues like atrial fibrillation, heart defects, abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias, and a bunch of other cardiovascular issues.
For a more in-depth explanation, see our post that gives goes into more details about the ECG.
There are all kinds of devices that can be used to take an ECG at home. In fact, my watch even does an ECG. But in order to get a full picture of your heart function, a doctor might order you to wear a Holter monitor.
A traditional Holter monitor is a device that you might put in your pocket or attach to your belt. It usually has 5 leads that attach to sticky pads that are attached to your thoracic region in different places. But the folks over at Wellue have sent me over a different kind of 24-hour ECG monitor that has some really cool features.
The Wellue 24 Hour ECG Recorder
This 24-hour ECG recorder is a relatively small device. There are two ways to wear it and get recordings.
Using a Chest Strap
It comes with a detachable strap that you can use to strap it around your chest. This method is the easiest. However, when I did it this way, it didn’t work very well for me. Evidently, I move around during my sleep and when I looked at the ECG report that I got after using it that first night, there was a lot of crazy stuff going on. There were times when I was moving around like crazy and it messed up the signal.
Using Disposable Electrodes
It comes with disposable electrodes that you can use to stick the device directly onto your chest. They are VERY sticky and once you put them on and won’t move. Personally, this is the method I recommend because you get more reliable results. Once you attach it to your chest, it’ll just start monitoring your ECG.
Unique Feature: ECG Recorder with AI Analysis
Once you’ve collected data by wearing the device, you can connect it here to your computer using the provided USB cable and import the results. It then uses AI to analyze your ECG report giving a preliminary diagnosis. It’ll let you know if it detected any atrial fibrillation or abnormal heartbeats. It’ll alert you of any tachycardia or other arrhythmias.
You should still follow up with a medical professional if you’re noticing any potential problems with your ECG, but I love that these devices are getting smarter and in more convenient packages.
Sample ECG Report
Here’s an ECG report I got after wearing the Wellue ECG Monitor.
As you can see, you get a lot of good information with this device. But are there any issues with it? Yes, there are – no device is ever perfect.
The Cons about Using the Wellue ECG Device
First off, the chest strap is useless for me. And while I do see that they are trying to make it easy for you to get into monitoring your ECG, I wouldn’t use this unless you’re not going to be doing a lot of movement. So if you’re just doing an ECG for a shorter period of time and you know you’ll be relaxing, maybe that’s a good time to use it.
Secondly, if you do decide to use the electrode patches, know that when you purchase them, it comes with 10 patches. And once you open the packaging, it says that you want to use them within 30 days.
So if you’re going to be using it more long-term or at some later point in the future, you’ll have to purchase additional patches. Fortunately, they aren’t very expensive.
Besides those few really minor issues, the convenience you get using this as opposed to some of the other more cumbersome Holter monitors is pretty awesome.
Do I recommend it? Well, if you’re trying to get a detailed view of the electrical activity of your heart, this is a great tool. I’ll be using it at least once a month to get an idea of where I stand. Although knowing myself, it’ll probably be much more than that.