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Glucose Monitoring Devices

Glucometers Devices

Finding a glucometer to suit your needs

Step 1: Know your needs

If you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes, or if you have trouble keeping your blood glucose under control and have frequent changes to your treatment regimen, you might consider investing in a glucometer that alerts you of abnormal highs or lows in blood glucose, or lets you record insulin doses alongside your measured blood glucose level.


On the other hand, if your blood glucose is well controlled or you only need to check it on occasion, you might not need a model with many advanced features. Likewise, some models have large, easy-to-read numbers while others are touted as being especially user-friendly and easy to manipulate with arthritic hands.

Good to Know:

Some clinics give out free glucometers to their newly diagnosed patients with diabetes. How can they afford to do this? The glucometer itself is inexpensive compared with the recurring cost of replacing the test strips and lancets.


If you use several test strips and lancets a day, be sure to research the cost of the specific products that work with each glucometer before you choose one model over another.

Step 2: Browse the models

All of the glucometers listed below give readings in five seconds or less and have been approved for fingertip pricks. Some have been approved for other sites in the body like the palm or forearm but are usually only used at these sites if the fingertips cannot be used; check with your doctor.


In addition, these models can store at least 360 test results for download to a computer. You'll be surprised at how much you and your doctor can learn by observing how your blood glucose levels rise and fall in response to certain lifestyle behaviors or foods, or at different times of the day. Many people are unaware these daily patterns even exist until they look at a graph of their past test results.
Some of the more common glucometers and their features are listed below.


The Brand names and products below are intended as a reference and for educational purposes only.

 

Model

Type of Test Strips

Manual Programming Required?

Amount of Blood Needed (µl)

Test Sites

Unique Features

FreeStyle Lite

FreeStyle Lite

No

0.3

Fingertip, palm, upper arm

  • Small, portable

  • Backlit screen

FreeStyle Freedom Lite

FreeStyle Lite

No

0.3

Fingertip, palm, upper arm

  • Large, easy-to-read display

FreeStyle Insulinx

FreeStyle Insulinx

No

0.3

Fingertip

  • Large touch screen

  • Allows user to record their insulin dose alongside their blood glucose reading

  • User or doctor can create reports that show blood glucose readings alongside their insulin doses

Precision Xtra

Precision Xtra glucose (blood glucose) or ketone strips

Yes

0.6 blood glucose

1.5 ketones

Blood glucose: fingertip, forearm, upper arm, base of thumb

Ketones: fingertip

  • Can use a single machine to teast blood glucose and ketones

Contour Next EZ

Contour Next

No

0.6

Fingertip

  • Users can set limits for high and low blood glucose; machine will sound an alarm if limit is reached

  • Displays before-meal and after-meal readings to show the effects of food on blood glucose

Contour USB

Contour

No

0.6

Fingertip, forearm, palm

  • Small, portable

  • USB drive is built into the meter for easy download of test results onto the doctor's or user's computer

Contour

Breeze 2 discs

No

1.0

Fingertip, forearm, palm

  • Does not require individual test strips; instead, this machine uses test discs that work for 10 consecutive tests

  • Large, easy-to-read display

Breeze 2

Contour

No

0.6

Fingertip, forearm, palm

  • Basic and advanced modes

  • Advanced mode allows user to track their average, highest, lowest, premeal and post-meal blood glucose levels from the past week, two weeks or month

One Touch Ultra 2

One Touch Ultra

Yes

1.0

Fingertip, forearm, palm

  • Large, backlit screen

  • Users can note their mealtimes

  • Machine can display the average blood glucose from the past week, two weeks or month

One Touch UltraMini

One Touch Ultra

Yes

1.0

Fingertip, forearm, palm

  • Small, portable

  • Ideal for carrying in a pocket and using on the go

One Touch Ultrasmart

One Touch Ultra

Yes

1.0

Fingertip, forearm, palm

  • Blood glucose levels can be displayed accoridng to time of day, before or after meal, insulin dose and more

  • Machine displays charts and graphs for easy access to results

One Touch Verio IQ

One Touch Verio Gold

No

0.4

Fingertip

  • Rechargeable battery

  • The machine alerts the user of abnormal patterns in blood glucose that might occur after meals, for example

Accu Chek Aviva

Accu Chek Aviva

Yes

0.6

Fingertip, forearm, palm, upper arm

  • Very user-friendly: The meter, lancets and test strips all received the Arthritis Foundation's Ease-of-Use Commendation

Accu Chek Compact Plus

Accu Chek Compact

No

1.5

Fingertip, forearm, palm, upper arm

  • No need to handle individual test strips, as the machine stores up to 17 test strips at a time

Accu Chek Nano

Accu Chek SmartView

No

0.6

Fingertip, forearm, palm, upper arm

  • Small, portable

  • Backlit screen

  • Machine calculates the average blood glucose from the past week, two-week, month or three-month period

 

Step 3: Covering the cost

Testing your blood glucose can get expensive, especially if you need to test it several times a day. An inexpensive box of 100 lancets can be found for less than $10, but even this minor cost will add up over the course of a year. Likewise, the cost of test strips varies depending on the glucometer you choose, in some cases amounting to more than $1,000 a year.

 

The good news is that if you have diabetes and are on insulin, your insurance will help cover the cost of your testing supplies in order to check glucose a few times a day. If you have diabetes but are not on insulin, your insurance should also help cover the cost of testing supplies at the frequency recommended by your doctor.

Step 4: Reliable results

Even the least expensive glucometers are very accurate and reliable, but every machine needs to be calibrated regularly. Your glucometer will come with a set of bottles that contain specified amounts of glucose in so-called control solutions. Any time you start a new box of test strips, or whenever your test results seem out of whack, try taking a reading  using these control solutions.

 

If the control solutions do not give the result that's listed on the bottle, it might be time to purchase a new glucometer. Call your doctor for advice if this happens.

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