Review: Heal Force 180-B Easy Handheld Portable ECG Monitor

ECG recorders are no longer the large, bulky, expensive devices they once were. There are many types of home monitors for sale now, from those that go for tens of thousands of dollars to those that sell for less than a hundred dollars.

An ECG monitor is used to measure the heart’s electrical conduction system. It picks up electrical impulses generated by the polarization and depolarization of cardiac tissue and traslates the information into a waveform. The waveform is then used to measure the rate and regulatrity of heartbeats, as well as the size and position of the chambers, the presence of any damage to the heart, and the effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart, such as a pacemaker.

The process is non-invasive, harmless, and risk-free. ECG machines are carefully designed to separate any electricity used to power the machine from the heart signal detection and recording process so the machine is unable to accidentally shock the user, thus, insuring their safety.

It should be noted, ECG devices provide very good measures of the heart’s condition but this only one set of parameters. Additional tests may be needed for an accurate diagnosis of a person’s overall heart condition.

Heal Force Bio-Meditech Holdings Limited is a company that has recently entered this market. This is an advanced manufacturer and agent of medical equipment, laboratory equipment and health care equipment. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company employs over 1,000 people in many branches and customer service stations across China.

The Healforce ECG monitor is a compact and light device, measuring 21.5 x 12.5 x 6.5 centimetres and weighing only 281 grams. The device is intended for recording the ECG waveform and average heart rate of users. It can be used in both clinics and homes, and is convenient to operate by the patients themselves.

The box contains the main device, a pouch, data cable for connecting to a PC, ECG viewer software, and a quick guide to the software and user manual.

The monitor operates on 2 AAA batteries. This will give you 10 hours of continuous use which is enough for up to 1,200 quick measurement records. To conserve battery life, the device will switch itsself off after 35 seconds idle time.

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You don’t need a smartphone to operate the unit. In fact, the monitor does not communicate with smartphones. The large, easy to read, high resolution colour LCD display will provide you with all the information you need. Or you can opt to install the PC software, which will provide you with more detailed info and let you manage multiple users.

Setup is easy. It only consists of slotting the batteries into the device and switching the device on. Once the unit initializes, you will see the main menu.

There are a number of different options to choose from. You switch between them via the physical buttons on the ECG monitor.

  • Measure: detect ECG waveform and HR value, and analyze whether the ECG waveform is normal;
  • Review: review the ECG records saved in this device (including ECG waveform and measurement result);
  • Memory: check the storage space and delte the ECG records saved in this device;
  • Settings: set parameters such as date time, language, beeper, filter mode, brightness and wireless;
  • Help: provide the user with measuring methods etc. information.

To perform a quick 30 second single-channel ECG waveform analysis you need to decide where to position the device. There are three options to choose from: chest measurement, leg measurement or palm measurement.

To obtain an ideal ECG signal, it is recommended to go for the chest measurement. This type of measurement ensures a stable signal with the fewest interferences. The other recommended option is a leg measurement where you place the electrode on the skin around 10 centimetres above your ankle. Finally, if you are short of time, you can go for the palm measurement. This is a convenient and quick way of measuring your ECG but is also the least precise.

There is also the option of choosing a continuous or long-term ECG measurement. You need to, however, purchase electrodes which are sold separately in order to do this.

After choosing the desired measuring method, press the physical ‘measure’ button on the device to enter the measurement screen. The first 15 seconds is the preparation phase during which the device will assess whether the position of electrodes is adequate. You will notice a countdown – when its over it will then begin to record the waveform for a period of 30 seconds. You are able to watch in real-time your waveform as it is being measured. Once it is done, the monitor will perform an analysis and tell you whether it has spotted any abnormalities. Seventeen types of measurement results can be presented.

The ECG monitor holds up to 300 records and has a data lock function to prevent accidental removal. At any point in time, you can review your old recordings. Just scroll through the list of recordings and choose the desired date. The analysis & reports display of 17 types of ECG waveforms.

For more convenience, you can choose to install the PC software included with the device. This is a fully featured software package, that is simple to use but offers more detail and the ability to manage multiple users. I can easily imagine a doctor using this software to monitor ECG waveforms of multiple patients. To sync the data, just plug in the cable into the PC USB port.

 

I was very impressed with this little gadget. It is very easy to use and does what it was designed to do with no hassle. The company says the handset is suitable for all types of users, including those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, diabetes or coronary heart disease. With this little gadget, you will be able to pay attention to your heart in between your regular visits to the doctor.

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Heal Force 180-B
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But remember. The device is not designed or intended for medical diagnosis. It is not an ECG monitor as used in a clinical institution or a hospital but is used for spot-check purposes only. The measurement results are a useful reference for a doctor, but do not make direct diagnostic or analytical decisions based on the information provided by this device, or any other home ECG monitor.

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