DIY ECG Machine On The Cheap

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

The goal of such a machine (called an electrocardiograph, or ECG ) is to amplify, measure, and record the natural electrical potential created by the heart. Note that cardiac electrical signals are different than heart sounds, which are listened to with a stethoscope. The intrinsic cardiac pacemaker system is responsible for generating these electrical signals which

DIY ECG Machine On The Cheap
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serve to command and coordinate contraction of the four chambers at the heart at the appropriate intervals [atria (upper chambers) first, then the ventricles (lower chambers) a fraction of a second later], and their analysis reveals a wealth of information about cardiac regulation, as well insights into pathological conditions. Each heartbeat produces a similar pattern in the ECG signal, called a PQRST wave. [ picture ] The smooth curve in the ECG (P) is caused by the stimulation of the atria via the Sinoatrial (SA) node in the right atrium. There is a brief pause, as the electrical impulse is slowed by the Atrioventricular (AV) node and Purkinje fibers in the bundle of His. The prominent spike in the ECG (the QRS complex) is caused by this step, where the electrical impulse travels through the inter-ventricular septum and up through the outer walls of the ventricles. The sharp peak is the R component, and exact heart rate can be calculated as the inverse of the R-to-R interval (RRi). Fancy, huh The goal of this project is to generate an extremely cheap, functional ECG machine made from common parts, most of which can be found around your house. This do-it-yourself (DIY) ECG project is different than many others on the internet in that it greatly simplifies the circuitry by eliminating noise reduction components, accomplishing this via software-based data post-processing. Additionally, this writeup is intended for those...

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