Difference Between ECG Machine and Pulse Oximeter for Heartrate Monitoring

Posted by Yogesh Nadar on

Heart rate monitoring is a crucial aspect of modern medicine, especially for diagnosing and monitoring heart-related conditions. The ECG machine and the pulse oximeter are two popular medical devices used for this purpose. While both devices are used for heart rate monitoring, they significantly differ in their functions and features. This article will discuss ecg machine vs. pulse oximeter, their common features, and their uses in medical practice.

What is the difference between ECG Machine and Pulse Oximeter?

An ECG machine is used for recording the electrical activity of the heart. It is a diagnostic instrument that aids in detecting heart diseases such as arrhythmias, heart attacks, and irregular heart rhythms. The equipment records the heart's electrical activity by attaching electrodes to the patient's chest, arms, and legs. The collected data is subsequently printed or presented on a screen for analysis and interpretation.

On the other hand, a pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation level and pulse rate of a patient's blood. It sends light through the patient's skin and detects the amount of oxygen in the blood depending on its colour. The pulse rate is calculated by measuring blood volume changes when the heart beats. The gadget is often attached to a patient's finger, earlobe, or toe and continually measures oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

Common Features of ECG Machine and Pulse Oximeter

While an ECG machine and a pulse oximeter have different functions, they share some common features. These features include:

  1. Display: Both devices have a display that shows the readings obtained during the monitoring process. The display may be a digital screen or a paper printout.
  1. Battery Operated: Both devices are battery-operated, making them portable and easy to use in different settings.
  1. Non-Invasive: Both instruments do not require any surgical procedures to obtain readings. This means both of these devices are non-invasive.
  1. Availability: Both devices are commonly available in medical equipment stores online and offline and can be purchased by medical professionals or individuals with medical conditions requiring monitoring.

These were a few common features of ecg machine and pulse oximeter that one should know and consider before buying this medical equipment. To choose the best ecg machine in India, it’s necessary to do some research about the retailers you’re opting for. Their brand reputation and customer reviews and ratings. Getting proper knowledge about the machine and its features is also better for better understanding.

Uses of ECG Machine and Pulse Oximeter

As we mentioned earlier, both devices have very different roles. One deals with the heart, while the other is for oxygen saturation. Let us see the usage of these devices in detail:

Uses of ECG Machine:

  • It mainly diagnoses heart disorders like arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, and irregular heart rhythms.
  • It is used to monitor the effects of drugs on the heart, assess the efficacy of cardiac treatments, and detect any changes in the heart's electrical activity.
  • ECG machines are used to screen for heart problems during standard physical examinations.
  • It can assess heart health in persons with risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.

Uses of Pulse Oximeter:

  • It is generally used to monitor the oxygen level in patients suffering from respiratory issues such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia.
  • It monitors the patient's oxygen level and prevents hypoxia during and after surgery.
  • Pulse oximeters measure the amount of oxygen in the blood of persons with sleep apnea or other sleep-related respiratory disorders.
  • It also monitors the oxygen level of those participating in high-altitude activities like mountain climbing or working in high-altitude situations.
  • It monitors athletes' oxygen levels during training and competition to avoid hypoxia and increase performance.

Cost Comparison

There are various aspects to consider regarding the price of an ECG machine or a pulse oximeter. The brand, model, features, and purchase location will determine the device's price. Because of its more complex technology and stronger diagnostic capabilities, an ECG machine is often more expensive than a pulse oximeter. Because of its continuous monitoring capabilities, a holter monitor, another piece of equipment used for heart rhythm monitoring, is more expensive than an ECG machine and a pulse oximeter.

An ECG machine in India can range from anywhere from ₹10,000 to ₹2,00,000, whereas machines from renowned brands like  BPL ECG machine can range from ₹18,000 to ₹1,20,000, depending on the model and other features. A pulse oximeter in India can range from ₹600 to ₹50,000, while a holter monitor price can go up to ₹2,50,000.

Here are some of the best-selling ECG machines and Pulse oximeters in the market. These will give you an idea about the product as well as pricing.


ECG Machine


BPL ECG Machine Cardiart 6108T Single Channel


BPL ECG Machine Cardiart 108T


RMS Vesta ECG Machine 101


Contec ECG Machine 1 Channel


Contec ECG Machine 3 Channel 300g



Pulse Oximeter


Contec CMS 60D Handheld Pulse Oximeter


Contec Finger Pulse Oximeter CMS 50D


DoctoroId Tabletop Pulse Oximeter 310 A


Handheld Pulse Oximeter NT 1C


Niscomed Pulse Oximeter FPO 93



Evaluating the patient's requirements and medical attention is critical when deciding between an ECG machine and a pulse oximeter. A pulse oximeter may be sufficient for monitoring the patient's heart rate and oxygen saturation in some circumstances, while an ECG machine may be required for diagnosing and monitoring heart-related disorders in others. To choose suitable equipment for specific clinical circumstances, it is recommended that you confer with a medical practitioner.

TenTabs, an online medical supply store, offers medical equipment for every medical emergency. TenTabs provides excellent customer service and detailed product descriptions for its users. These features make the shopping experience very smooth and hassle-free. So choose TenTabs for your medical equipment needs; whether it is an ECG machine, a pulse oximeter, or any other instrument, we provide the best quality at the most reasonable prices.

Further Read - Different Types of Holter Monitors: Benefits and Uses

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