What is an EKG machine? The abbreviations ECG and EKG both stand for
electrocardiograph; the latter is from the German form of the word, Elektrokardiogramm.
Throughout this article, we will use only the English abbreviation.
That said, the purpose of an ECG machine is to measure the electrical activity
produced by the heart. Each time the heart beats, it depolarizes, producing
minute electrical changes. When the heart relaxes, a negative charge crosses
its cell membrane; an influx of double- positive ions of calcium and sodium
causes polarization as the charge is eliminated, signaling the heart to
contract. ECG machines can detect this process as a series of tiny rises and
falls in the level of negative electric charge, and can thus be used to analyze
how healthy the heart is. Graph paper is commonly used with ECG machines so
that the results of their findings can be printed, though more modern ones are
connected with computers that can produce such graphs.
Bionet, also known as BIOSCI, is an online forum used by people throughout the
world who study and work in the life sciences—molecular biology, medicine,
dentistry, toxicology, bioinformatics software, and countless other areas. Such
scientists can use Bionet to share information on the discoveries they have
made and help develop their own and each other’s fields. It was first developed
by computer workers at Stanford University in the mid- 1980s.
A variety of Bionet ECG equipment is sold in places throughout the Internet,
and some will be described here. Most of them cost a few thousand dollars, and
accessories for them are sold separately. The Bionet BM3 Plus can be used to
measure NIBP (non- invasive blood pressure), respiration, SpO2 (saturation of
peripheral oxygen), and temperature, in addition to serving as a Bionet ECG
system, and it is capable of storing up to 120 hours of "trend and alarm
information." Software can be upgraded on the Internet, and it weighs less
than seven pounds, even with the battery.
The Bionet CardioTouch 3000 ECG has twelve channels and a high resolution LCD
monitor. Files on this one can be saved in JPG graphics format, and printed
from a Windows- based printer or emailed. Sections of the ECG can also be
magnified so that they can be read more easily; it can be transferred to a
computer from the machine’s control panel and saved there; custom comments may
be added to it; and it can even be compared side by side with another ECG. Even
more elaborate—and more expensive—is the BM5Vet with Mainstream EtCO2, a multi-
parameter veterinary monitor on which the vital signs of the subject are
displayed in color code form.
One of the greatest machines is the Bionet 2000, which is also one of the
cheapest for its quality.