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Portable ECG Machine and EKG Machine Buyer's Guide For Professionals



This article will provide you information and tips about how to choose the best portable 12-lead ecg/ekg machine for your clinical practice.

What is a portable ECG/EKG machine?

A portable ECG (electrocardiogram) machine (or portable EKG machine) is typically a hand-held, easy-to-operate medical device that is used to record the electrical activities of hearts for detecting heart diseases. Some portable ECG machines use a USB cable to connect to a computer, others may have Bluetooth connectivity to a smartmobile device for ECG data transmission.

How to choose a portable ECG/EKG machine?

Here are some important considerations: 

  • Is it medical standard and professional grade? (Safety and Accuracy)
  • Is it compatible with Electronic Health Record (EHR)?
  • Is it user-friendly and can enhance efficiency in your practice?


Who needs a portable ECG machine?

Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, Employee Health, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), Home Care Agencies, Concierge Medicine.

Healthcare professionals use ECG for diagnosing heart disease. A resting 12-lead ECG test is the medical standard for evaluating the heart for abnormalities. It is the most commonly used test for the heart. Portable 12-lead ECG/EKG machines can be used in hospitals, isolation wards, clinics, ambulances, airplanes, SNFs, even in a patients’ home for self-care and remote monitoring. For those patients with chronic heart diseases, having a portable 12-Lead ECG machine at home helps them to take care of their heart symptoms in time for early intervention and peace of mind.


 PCA 500 - Hospital-quality 12-lead Portable ECG Machine


What is PCA 500?

PCA 500 is the world's most compact 12-lead ECG, provides an entire ECG solution to streamline the workflow of ECG testing in a doctor’s office.

Powerful features of PCA 500

With seamless integration of state-of-the-art technologies: a super-compact recorder, patented prepositioned electrode strips, user-friendly apps for mobile devices, and HIPAA-compliant cloud, a hospital-quality 12-lead ECG can be completed by anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Why PCA 500? 3 compelling advantages of using PCA 500 electrodes:

1. Efficiency—Saves 70% time
2. Accuracy— Reduce errors in leads placement
3. Lower infections — Single use electrode, lower risk of infection

PCA-500 is the only hospital-grade ECG approved for patients use under a physician’s guidance. It is ideal for elderly patients who need cardiac care from home due to inconvenience of going to the doctor’s office, or increased risk for COVID-19. Getting valuable information about the heart when it’s needed at a place that is preferred is critically important in taking care of vulnerable individuals.

The PCA 500 is a complete solution for telehealth ECG needs. This revolutionary platform includes patented prepositioned electrode strips, compact PCA 500 recorder, mobile app, HIPAA compliant cloud, and computer diagnostics. PCA 500 is the only FDA-cleared, hospital-grade 12-lead electrocardiogram that can be used for personal care. By combining hospital-grade quality, mobile technology, user-friendly app interface and cloud management, we have set a new standard in cardiac care. A patient can take his/her own ECG and send the report to the doctor instantly, without having to leave home.

How to use PCA 500?


What are the differences between performing conventional ECG and PCA 500 ?

Conventional 12-lead ECG uses complex lead wires and 10m individual electrodes, each to be placed on specific locations on the body.  Therefore, it requires technicians who are well-trained and experienced to perform the test.  It can be cumbersome and time-consuming, while its availability is limited to only healthcare facilities.  PCA 500 makes it possible that patients with no training can do their own ECG/EKG tests in the comfort of their homes with just simple instructions.  By doing so, the resting ECG test is now accessible and affordable to millions of patients. 


Leads Replacement :

A traditional 12-lead ECG contains 10 electrodes, each has to be placed in a specific location on the patient’s body, and to be connected to a specific lead wire on the ECG/EKG machine.  In this complicated process, even well trained technicians make errors about 2%-3% of the time.  Misplacement of the leads may cause misdiagnoses that lead to harms to the patient, or increases the time and cost associated with correcting the errors.


PCA 500 makes your office workflow simple and streamlined.

By using the patented prepositioned electrode strips with PCA 500, a 12-lead test can be done in less than 3 minutes.  It saves 70% of lead procedure time, reduces errors of lead replacement, enables personnel with minimal training to perform the test.


How does PCA 500  reduce the risk of infection ? 

Contaminated ECG wires had previously been reported as a source of an outbreak of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in hospitals. In a study, 77% of supposedly clean wires were found to be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  If your office is currently using conventional ECGs with lead wires that are difficult to decontaminate after each use, it is time to consider upgrading to the PCA 500 with all the state-of-the-art technologies, better workflow, and lower risk of coronavirus spread.

Other things you need to note when using a portable ECG/EKG machine  

  •  There is a Bluetooth connectivity option, you don’t need the USB cable
  •  You can use mobile devices, no need to connect to a laptop or desktop computer
  •  The quality of the digital ECG is important.  Make sure it has a high resolution and a high sampling rate. 
  •  Cloud management offers huge advantages.  You can access your ECGs from any devices in any locations.
  •  EHR compatibility is a consideration. Make sure your ECG reports can be imported to your office EHR.  


How to reduce noises and artifacts?

PCA 500 is equipped with advanced data processing technology to ensure superior signal quality. Furthermore, the pre-positioned electrodes help to ensure good skin attachment and minimize movement artifacts.

What is a medical ECG?

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a simple, non-invasive, and painless test that records the electrical activity in your heart. ECGs are used to check for signs of heart disease.

What is the correct procedure to prepare the skin before placing an electrode?

Make sure the skin on the chest is clean,dry, and free of any lotions and oils. For men with lots of hair on the chest, shaving the chest along the area of the electrode strip may be needed.

Where are ECG leads placed on body?

The patented electrode strip simplifies the leads placement of chest and limb leads. With the adhesive side facing the patient, place the strip on the patient's chest. First, position the Blue Box at the center of the chest at the level between the nipples. Then, wrap the tail of the strip around the left side of the chest, the Red Arrow should be pointing to the left nipple and the end of the strip should be under the left axilla (armpit). For the limb electrodes, please follow the marks, stick to Left Arm, Right Arm and Left Leg.

When should patients clean their recorder?

It should be gently cleaned before every use.

How should patients clean their recorder?

To clean the recorder, dampen a soft cloth with lukewarm soapy water or natural cleanser and gently wipe down the recorder. The recorder should not be immersed in water under any circumstances.

Patient positioning for 12-Lead ECG placement

Patients should rest (sit still or lie down) for at least 5 minutes before taking an ECG recording. Men can conduct the test in a sitting position on a reclined chair for back support. Women are advised to lie down in a supine (flat) position, and have a trusted one to help with the electrode placement and use of mobile device. With the left breast lifted up, the electrode strip can go under and around the left breast to be adhered firmly to the skin.

What training is required to complete an ECG with PCA 500?

PCA 500 makes 12-lead ECG procedures so simple that people with no experience or training, even patients, can complete a medical standard ECG/EKG test.

How do I determine the correct electrode strip size for my patient?

PCA 500 Electrode Strips come in four sizes (S, M, L, XL) for adults and three sizes (1, 2, 3) for pediatrics. The Sizing Guide is used to easily determine the correct size for each patient. Please refer to How to Use the Sizing Guide for more detailed information. How to use sizing guide (Learn more)

Are the PCA 500 Electrode Strips one-time use?

Yes. To help prevent disease transmission and ensure the best ECG signal quality, PCA 500 Electrode Strips are one-time use. After application to a patient, the electrode strips may be repositioned and remain on the same patient. The hydrogel will begin to dry out and the quality of ECG signals cannot be guaranteed once the electrode package is open for more than 24 hours.

Can PCA 500 be used when a patient has a pacemaker?

Yes. PCA 500 is able to detect when there is a pacemaker present and it will not affect the quality of the ECG/EKG test. PCA 500 does not interfere with the function of a pacemaker.

Can PCA 500 be integrated with my EMR/EHR platform?

All ECGs can be downloaded as PDF reports from the cloud-based Dashboard. Most EMR/EHR systems allow PDF documents to be uploaded to the patient’s records. If you have further questions, please contact the sales team for all integration inquiries.

         See more Practitioner FAQs  


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