An electrocardiogram (or EKG/ECG) records the electrical activity of your heart. It can be used as part of a routine physical exam, as a test for heart disease, or to investigate symptoms you may be having due to existing heart problems.

The process is simple – electrodes are attached to your chest, stomach, arms and legs, and the leads from these electrodes record information about your heart’s activity to strips of paper. It only takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test.

EKGs are quick, safe, painless and inexpensive, and an effective tool for your doctor to assess your heart rhythm, diagnose a heart attack (or poor blood flow to the heart), and to check for heart abnormalities.