What Should I look for in a Blood Glucose Meters?
Diabetes is a serious disease and more than ten percent of the United States population suffer from it. For some, daily testing is essential to properly manage this disease. Fortunately, we’ve seen an increase in the number of home glucose monitors available in the market over the past decade.
These monitors have seen improvements in accuracy and the list of features they offer. Choosing the right monitor might be a challenge especially if you’re a beginner. Let’s take a look at the things you need to consider before buying one:
Your blood glucose monitoring test’s accuracy mostly depends on two factors – the quality of your glucometer and the quality of your testing strips. Low-quality glucometers can give you readings that can be off the mark by as much as 15 percent. Although that variance is acceptable according to the FDA, getting more accurate readings will help you manage your condition better.
Modern glucometers can provide test results rather quickly. If you’re testing your blood sugar level once a day, you won’t need to worry about test time as long as it doesn’t take too long. However, if you’re measuring three to five times a day, you’ll need a glucose monitor with less than 5 seconds of test time.
Ease of Use
Some patients may need to use the glucometer multiple times a day. That’s why you need to find a device that’s easy to use and comfortable to work with. This is highly subjective, you might need something with a simple interface that has basic functionalities like reading and recording your results. Others might want glucometers with extra features like Bluetooth connectivity and app integration for more insight.
Some glucose monitors require manual coding or calibrating the device every time you start using a new box of test strips. That painstaking process can sometimes lead to errors which can result in an inaccurate reading. If you want to avoid this step, consider glucometers that offer automatic coding.
Using a glucometer shouldn’t be a burden to anyone. That includes reading and understanding the test results. Ideally, you’ll want a glucometer with a large enough display. Whether it’s an LCD or LED screen, pick something with high contrast and large readouts so you don’t have to strain your eyes every time you take a test.
Budget is a major concern for most diabetes patients. Glucose testing needs to be cost-effective especially since you might need to do it at least once or twice per day. The best way to save on your testing cost is to pick a device covered by your insurance. Aside from the device, you also want the test strips to be covered in full or partially as they add up significantly to the total cost of testing. Doing your research should help narrow down your options.
Storage Size and Retrieval
Modern glucometers have the ability to store your data. Most can keep somewhere between 100 and 500 readings. Other models will let you transfer your data via USB or Bluetooth to your computer or smartphone. Data of your test results can offer you or your healthcare provider important insights about your condition and how you manage it. Choose a glucometer with sufficient memory if you need to.
Glucometer models may vary in the blood-sample size required to produce an accurate result. In general, less expensive glucometers require a larger amount of blood. If you are sensitive to pain or squeamish about having your finger pricked, you might want to consider a more expensive device that requires a smaller drop of blood.
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