If you or your health care team thinks you might have an irregular heartbeat (an arrhythmia), they may suggest that you use a heart monitor at home to collect information about your heart’s activity. These devices are helpful because they provide more monitoring than is possible with a standard electrocardiogram (ECG) in your doctor’s office.
Using a heart monitor can help find or rule out a heart rhythm problem. It also will guide treatment, if needed.
There are a variety of heart rhythm monitors to record how your heart is beating and to pick up on any irregular heart rhythms or patterns while you are at home, work or play. You can wear some devices. In rarer cases, others can be inserted under your skin near the heart.
Use this resource to learn more about heart rhythm monitors, what types there are, when to use them, and what to expect after the test.
Your heart rhythm is controlled by electrical signals. An arrhythmia happens if there is a misstep in the heart’s usual rhythm. Some examples include:
• Atrial fibrillation – a rapid heartbeat that is also very erratic; it can cause the blood to pool and clot in the heart, increasing the risk of stroke
• Tachycardia – heart rhythms that are too fast; for example supraventricular tachycardia or ventricular tachycardia
• Bradycardia – heart rhythms that are too slow
A normal resting heart rate is usually between 60-100 beats per minute and can vary throughout the day and with activity.