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Benefits or Advantages of ECG | Disadvantages of ECG Electrocardiogram

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of ECG (Electrocardiogram) test data. It mentions benefits or advantages of ECG and drawbacks or disadvantages of ECG (Electrocardiogram).

What is ECG data ?

Heart attack usually occurs due to loss of blood supply to the heart muscle. This happens when any one or more coronary arteries of person becomes blocked due to various reasons. The blockage of arteries can be due to fatty deposites, plaques, viruses etc.

It is essential to get the ECG test done when person feels chest pain, dizziness, rapid pulse, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue etc. It is better to have ECG (Electrocardiogram) test at regular intervals to detect any abnormalities in the heart. ECG is a medical test performed using ECG sensor and machine called electrocardiograph. ECG sensor consists of electrodes which are placed on the chest of the person to record electrical signals.

ECG curve

The normal ECG curve is shown in the figure which can be seen on the monitor or can be printed on paper using printer. ECG curve consists of five states viz. P, Q, R, S and T which corresponds to different phases of heart activities. Any abnormalities in the heart beat causes change in ECG curve patterns. The changes in the ECG curve are analyzed by cardiologist to determine rootcause in order to diagnose the heart patients. ECG helps doctor determine or detect abnormal heart rhythm, blocked or narrowed arteries etc.

AD8232 ECG sensor

The sensor along with machine which collects the ECG data from person is known as ECG sensor or ECG machine. The example of ECG sensor is AD8232 IC module. It consists of three electrodes which are attached to right arm (RA), left arm (LA) and right leg (RL). It generates output analog signal which represent heart beat. The output can be read by any microcontroller board or Arduino Uno board or can be displayed on oscilloscope. As shown AD8232 is powered using 3.3V LDO Voltage Regulator. It can also be powered using Arduino Uno board. The 12 lead ECG consisting of 10 electrodes give complete picture of the heart. This 12-lead ECG records heart activities using different angles in two planes i.e. horizontal and vertical electrical plane.

Benefits or advantages of ECG

Following are the benefits or advantages of ECG data collected by ECG sensor.
➨ECG is helpful to measure three basic parameters of clinical interest viz. rhythm and heart rate, axis of the heart and state of myocardial muscle.
➨ECG represents data in the topographic form which provides higher diagnostical information.
➨ECG helps to prevent heart attacks by analyzing heart parametets at the initial stage.
➨ECG is used to detect the cardiac conditions of the patients after surgical or any other operation and after application of anesthesia.
➨ECG test is quick, painless and safe.
➨ECG test is cheap in cost.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of ECG test

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of ECG test:
➨It does not provide underlying heart problems for patients not having any symptoms.
➨It does not always provide help in accurate diagnosis. More tests are needed to trace serious heart problems undetected by normal ECG curve.

Refer ECG sensor vs PPG sensor which describes comparison between ECG sensor and PPG sensor. Also refer advantages and disadvantages of PPG sensor >>.

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