Ground-Free ECG Recording with Two Electrodes

Nitish V. Thakor, John G. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


ECG recordings normally use three electrodes-two for the differential inputs of the ECG amplifier and the third for ground. We analyze those situations where the ground electrode can be eliminated. We propose a model for the source of electrical interference and determine various parameter values. Making use of experimentally obtained data for the model parameters we suggest optimal design for a two-electrode amplifier. The two-electrode design is useful for biotelemetry, portable Holter monitors, and portable arrhythmia monitors. Under certain circumstances it may be useful for grounded monitoring equipment The two-electrode technique has the advantage that it improves patient safety by eliminating the ground electrode. Fewer electrodes make patient attachment easier and lower electrode costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-704
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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