What makes a top blood glucose meter? Certain companies like Abbott Diabetes, Bayer, LifeScan and Roche make the name brands of blood glucose meters that are most common in pharmacies. Abbott Diabetes makes the FreeStyle series, Bayer makes the Breeze and Contour, LifeScan makes the OneTouch series and Roche makes the Accu-Chek series. Other people with diabetes swear by store-brand meters and test strips or meters by smaller companies like WaveSense.
What is a Blood Glucose Meter?
A blood glucose meter is a device that uses a small sample of blood from a finger or other alternate glucose test site to give an approximate reading of an individual’s blood glucose values. These values change after eating, during exercise, and during periods of illness or stress. Pills and insulin for diabetes treatment lower blood glucose values. People with diabetes are encouraged to test their blood glucose values frequently. The frequency of tests that a doctor recommends will vary according to the type of diabetes and the person’s diabetes management regime.
Features That Make a Top Blood Glucose Meter
There are many different companies that sell blood glucose meters, and some companies sell more than one type of meter. Meters have many different features that make them more or less desirable to consumers. The top companies have a selection of different blood glucose meters that come with variations on a selection of different features.
When you are testing your blood glucose, accuracy is of paramount importance. Most meters say that they are accurate within twenty percent up or down from the posted value. Different people may feel that a certain meter is more or less accurate for them. Some meters like the Precision Xtra are made to minimize the impact of substances that may be on the hands, but patients should always wash their hands before testing to ensure accuracy.
Ease of use is especially important for busy people and seniors. Those who might forget to add the code from the bottle of test strips each time they open a new bottle should look for meters that feature no coding. The Accu-Chek Compact Plus and the Bayer Breeze and Contour feature no coding.
The sample size of the meter is one factor that can make a blood glucose meter popular. Small children and those who are concerned about the pain of poking their fingers with a lancet may want to choose the meter with the smallest sample size. Abbott, Nova, ReliOn and US Diagnostics meters tend to have the smallest sample sizes of 0.6 microliters and under.
A large text size on the meter is an important feature for those with visual impairments. Abbott’s Freestyle Freedom has a very large display. For those who are blind, there are also talking meters. Some meters like the Freestyle Flash also feature a back light that turns on before a test or during a test. This feature is helpful for those who test frequently at night.
For those on a budget, the cost of the meter and test strips is very important. While many companies give a discount on a meter with a purchase of test strips, the everyday cost of the test strips is very important, particularly for those who test frequently.
Some people like to track and upload their diabetes statistics. The Contour USB is designed to upload to your computer. Other meters like the OneTouch Ultra can flag results as pre or post-meal.
The Future of Blood Glucose Meters
Blood glucose meters that operate using a single finger poke from a single point in time now work together with a new top blood glucose technology, the continuous glucose management system (CGMS). These CGMS systems have been developed by companies like DexCom and Medtronic. The technology takes readings from a person’s interstitial fluid and transmits the results to a monitor via radio waves. Patients use this technology in tandem with a blood glucose meter to see blood glucose trends and get alerts.
Diabetes Net. Blood Sugar Meters. https://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_technology/blood_glucose_meters.php#axzz1GhjGVJST
Walgreens. Blood Glucose Meter Comparison Chart. https://www.walgreens.com/marketing/library/centers/diabetes/bgmcc.jsp