Friday, 18 November 2016

Things to Consider When Choosing a New Blood Glucose Meter

Blood glucose meter is a simple device that measures the concentration of glucose in a blood sample. Type 2 diabetes patients have to regularly take a measure of their blood glucose – at least once a day.

When choosing a blood glucose meter, we have to look at several things. Which is the most accurate blood sugar meter? How painless is the procedure of taking a blood sample with a lancet? How much is the cost of most accurate blood glucose meter?

Here is a comparison of most accurate blood glucose meters based on user reviews.

We’ll look at the Top 6 things to consider when picking a blood glucose meter that best fits you. Furthermore, we’ll see some of the best blood sugar meters and explain why they are the best.

Blood Glucose Meter – Top 6 Things to Consider When Buying One
What is a blood glucose meter? For one, it is one of the most essential tools for diabetes patients. In short, it is used to measure blood sugar. Namely, it consists of three parts:

Blood sugar meter itself

>Test strips (specific for every meter)

>Lancet to draw a blood sample

>Each of these parts adds to the accuracy of blood glucose meter. However, each one also adds to the cost of measuring blood glucose levels.

With so many blood sugar meters out there, it is important to know a thing or two about how to choose the best one for you. Maybe you want the most accurate blood sugar meter. Maybe the price of glucose meter is the main thing for you. Here are the Top 6 characteristics of glucometers everybody diabetes patients should consider:

Accuracy – “How accurate is my blood glucose meter?”. Glucose meter accuracy is very important. The FDA, however, allows for meters to be up to 20% non-accurate readings. This means that if you have a blood sugar of 100 mg/ml, the meter can show anywhere from 80 mg/ml to 120 mg/ml and be considered accurate. But which blood glucose meters are more accurate than others?

Pain Level – “How much pain does taking a blood sample cause?”. If you know you’re going to pick yourself every day for a blood sample, it does matter how much it hurts. This depends on how big a sample a blood glucose meter needs – a big sample means more pain than a small sample. Why? Because with a big sample, you have to use a bigger and longer lancet. There has been a talk of painless diabetic meters. Every prick will hurt. However, we’ll look at some of theleast painful blood glucose meters. What is more, we’ll give you Top 5 hints about how to use glucometers with less pain.

Cost – “How much does blood glucose meter costs?”. The meters can cost anywhere from $10 to $60. But don’t worry; some companies give them for free (you might want to check out the article about free glucose meters and learn how to get one). The lancets are not costly at all. On the other hand, the big issue is the cost of test strips. A single test strip can cost up to $1. If you need at least one per day (or even five per day), that can cost up to $100 per month. We will compare the prices of 100 test strips from different providers to see which ones are cheapest.

Multisite Sampling – “Can I take a sample only from the finger or can I prick myself on the hand, arm, thigh or even calf as well?”. Taking a sample from the finger is standard. However, some blood glucose meters allow you to collect a sample from your hand as well. The upper arm can serve as a site to prick yourself with a lancet. You can even choose calf or thigh with some meters. 
We’ll let you in on which blood glucose meters allow multisite sampling.

Memory – “How many measurements can a blood glucose meter record?”. Some may record as little as 10 samples. Other can record 100 or more (even 500). If you want to look at how well your blood glucose levels have been doing last week, you might want to buy a glucose meter with a bit more memory.

High Tech Features – “Can I connect blood glucose meter to PC via USB or use Bluetooth?”. Some patients find exporting their blood sugar levels data useful. The meters can include Bluetooth transfer or simple USB port to get the info on the computer. Some advanced features include bolus calculators for insulin shots (the later is more important for Type 1 diabetes).

When you have a plan to buy an accurate blood glucose meter, you might also consider the size of the meter. Most of them fit in a small pocket.

On the other hand, be sure to look at reviews as well. Top rated accurate blood glucose meters are usually the best. However, try to figure out why they are the best. Is it because they are the most accurate meters? Or is it only because they are cheap? Remember that the true cost here are the test strips.

Let us dig in some more important characteristics.

Most Accurate Blood Glucose Meter

Without a doubt, accuracy is very important. So much so that the FDA requires every blood glucose meter producer to uphold the following accuracy standards:

>95% of blood glucose measurements can deviate at most 15% from the true value

>99% of blood glucose measurements can deviate at most 15% from the true value.

These industry standards were approved in 2014 by the FDA. Prior to 2014, the accuracy requirements were even lower. You can read the full document of the accuracy of blood glucose meters here (by the FDA).

What this means is that if you have a blood glucose of 100 mg/ml, and the meter shows you a measurement anywhere between 85 and 115 mg/ml, that is considered accurate. Of course, by the current industry standard.

These standards hold true for over-the-counter or OTC accurate blood glucose meters.

The accuracy requirements for meters used in clinical environments are still stricter. The measurement can deviate for only 10% in the 95% of cases. Here is the FDA document for clinical blood glucose meters as well.

Which Blood Glucose Meter is the Most Accurate?

The question of blood glucose meter accuracy is very hard to answer. Namely, all the producers must respect the FDA rules about the blood glucose meter accuracy. However, the producers don’t have to reveal what kind of accuracy their meters have; it is enough that they show that the accuracy is as required by the FDA.

Nonetheless, Integrated Diabetes looked into the data glucose meter producers were obligated to give to the FDA. These are tests that determine if a glucose meter is accurate enough. What is more, those documents provided us with the data about the specific accuracy of blood glucose meters.

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