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COMPARISON BETWEEN THE MOST POPULAR OVER THE COUNTER GLUCOSE METERS
A glucose meter is one of the essential tools a patient with diabetes must-have. As a diabetic you want the best glucose meter at an affordable price, right? That is exactly why we wrote this article. We will highlight the features and price points of the best blood glucose meters and review them. Glucose monitoring meters are an important key for keeping an eye on glucose trends and maintaining optimum blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia( low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia( high blood sugar) are dangerous warnings someone with diabetes must consider throughout the day. A glucose meter will prevent this from happening or, if it happens, let you know so you can take the necessary steps to avoid more serious consequences.
Nowadays, we can find an endless amount of glucose meters, each with its own benefits and negative aspects, as well as price ranges. Therefore, it’s important to analyze the most common brands found so that you can choose the one that is the most appropriate for you.
The prices are categorized into three levels: low-end ($0-20), Mid-price point (>$20-40), and high-end (>$40).
Contour Next EZ Glucose Meter
Priced at the high-end. It works well with Medtronic insulin pump. It is one of the most accurate glucose meters in the market.
Contour Next is a meter that provides accurate and fast results, in 5 seconds you get your reading. There is no need for coding once you get new test strips. It can store up to 480 readings and comes with pre and post-meal markers as well as test results in 7-, 14- and 30- day average. One of the advantages it has is that you can set several alarms to remind you when to take your measurement. Although it has a high price, you get the complete kit in one purchase making it easier for busy people or seniors. It comes with the Contour NEXT EZ Diabetes Monitor, 100 Contour NEXT Test Strips, 100 Active Forward Lancets (30g), lancing device, and Carry Case (control solution NOT included). One major advantage is that you can connect it with your phone via Bluetooth and manage your readings, carb intake, and medications. However, some reviews state that the app is not compatible with some cellphones and is not that user-friendly.
One-Touch Ultra Glucose Meter
Mid-price point. This blood glucose meter also is very accurate in most cases.
This glucose meter provides fast readings, in 5 seconds you get your measurement. One of the advantages it has is the larger display numbers making it easier to read. It stores up to 500 readings and provides pre and post-meal averages, which becomes handy to understand the impact of your current portions on your glucose levels. The lancing strips are compatible with some of the other glucose meters from One Touch. The kit comes with the One Touch Ultra meter, lancing device, 10 sterile lancets, and a case. The test strips are sold separately.
Dario Blood Glucose Meter
Mid-price point. Accuracy is not widely reported but patient experience is usually positive.
This smart glucose meter is everything tech people hope to have. It is a glucose meter compatible with iPhone devices which you can directly connect to the phone via its charging port. Besides not having to deal with batteries, its small size makes it extremely easy to carry along. All the results are automatically recorded on the app, which makes it easier to keep track and analyze the patterns. The app is one of the main advantages it has. You can share your data with other people, count carbohydrates with their food database providing the calculation as well, and having your readings compared with your food, mood, and activities. It has unlimited reading storage and provides the reading in 5 seconds. It comes with a built-in emergency in case you get hypoglycemia and your location. The kit contains the Dario Blood Glucose Meter, 25 Test Strips, 10 Lancets, All-In-One Dario Lancing Device, and the Dario App.
Mid-price point. Accuracy is comparable to most meters in the market but average.
This meter uses cutting-edge strips with high international standards. The lancing device has 5 depth options that minimize the wound and reduces pain. It is easy to read and small which is perfect for traveling. It stores up to 450 reading and offers continuous 7-, 14- and 30-day average results. It provides the test results in 7 seconds. The kit comes with the AUVON DS-W Blood Glucose Monitor, 1 battery, 100 Blood Test Strips, 30-gauge lancets, and the lancing device.
Overall, it is a good quality meter at an affordable price and one of the lowest test strips. However, most of the reviews found state problems with accuracy in readings and highly variable readings.
ReliOn Glucose Meter
Priced at low-end. Accuracy is not the best but better than nothing.
An extremely easy-to-use glucose meter. It also has an application available to sync the readings to your cellphone. Has a larger screen than some meters and bigger numbers as well, making it easier to read. It stores up to 500 readings and gives the measurement in 5 seconds. One of the major advantages it has is its hypoglycemia indicator. It also provides total average readings as well as pre-meal and post-meal test averaging. However, you only get the glucose meter the test strips are sold separately. Although it is a cheap meter to get, the test strips are one of the highest prices you find on the market.
True Matrix Meter
Priced at low-end. Accuracy is fair, better than relion but can show major errors at low and high glucose ranges.
True matrix is one of the cheapest glucose meters available in the market. People seem to love it and it is no surprise for the price and characteristics it has. It offers alternate site testing; hence you will not have to do it only on your finger. It provides testing reminders so you do not forget to take them and event tagging so you can keep track of your glucose levels and any additional information regarding them. It stores up to 500 readings and provides the results in 4 seconds, being the fastest of all the other ones. You can also check 7-, 14- and 30- day average readings. One of the main concerns is that it comes just the device, the lancet, and the test strips are sold separately.
Accu-Chek Performa Nano
Mid-price point. Great accuracy.
The Accu-Chek Performa Nano is small and dependable, which makes it easy to carry around. It has a glow-in-the-dark display making it easy to read when there is low light available. It offers meal markers and an alarm to check glucose levels after 2 hours. It stores up to 500 readings, you get your results in 5 seconds and it delivers 7-, 14-, 30- and 90- day average results so you can make the necessary adjustments. The kit includes the Accu-Chek Performa Nano glucose meter, a case, the lancing device Accu-Chek Fastclix, and a battery.
ANKOVO Glucose Meter
Mid-price point. This glucose meter provides one of the most accurate readings, with a coefficient of variation of intermediate accuracy and repeat accuracy of less than 5%. The blood sugar meter can also auto pop out the test strips and lancets meaning no manual processing, reducing the chance of infection. The lancing device has 6 different depth options which can reduce pain. It stores up to 450 readings and provides the results in 5 seconds. On its large screen it displays continuous 14-, 21-, 28-, 60- and 90- day average results. It also indicates when glucose levels have exceeded 240 mg/dL and a ketone warning. The kit comes with 1 Ankovo glucose meter, diabetes test kit, 100 30G lancets, 100 test strips, 1 lancing device, 1 battery, 1 glucometer control solution, and a carrying case.
Care Touch Meter
Priced at high-end. The Care Touch glucose meter has a state-of-the-art monitoring system that includes a single-touch strip ejection, so you do not have to worry about manually removing the dirty strip. It stores up to 300 readings with the results provided in 5 seconds. It also keeps continuous 14-day average results, and pre and post-meal flagging. Although it is a reliable glucose meter, there are other available that provide a wider range of averages, meaning you can get a better pattern of your glucose levels. The kit comes with a Care Touch Blood Glucose Meter, 100 Blood Test Strips, 1 Lancing Device, 30-gauge Lancets-100 count, and carrying case.
Mid-price point. Providing excellent accuracy, metene glucose meters and strips are produced with industry-leading technology making the reading more accurate and reliable. It has a large screen providing easy-to-read measurements ideal for senior patients. It stores up to 500 readings and gives the results in 7 seconds. The lacing device has a 5-depth option which reduces pain and minimizes wound. You can get a 14-, 21-, 28-, 60- and 90- day average reading. Finally, it has 4 reminder alarms, so you don’t forget to take your measurement being control solution, before a meal, after a meal, and any time of day. The kit comes with 100 glucometer strips, 100 30G lancets, 1 blood sugar meter, 1 lancing device, 1 control solution, 2 batteries, and 1 protective wallet.
In conclusion, the best glucose meter will depend on your specific needs and the qualities you are looking for as well as your lifestyle. Some will be more “high-tech” than others, but the alternatives will provide a cheap price with good qualifications. The most important thing is that you have one available and keep notes with each reading such as medications, emotions, food intake, and exercise so that you can make the adjustments necessary with each reading.
AHMET ERGIN, MD, FACE, CDCES, ECNU