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How Much Are Blood Sugar Monitors

Test Strips For Blood Glucose Monitors Are Not Always Accurate

Test Strips For Blood Glucose Monitors Are Not Always Accurate

Self-monitoring of blood glucose is essential for managing diabetes. Over 30 different blood glucose monitors cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are available to consumers. The FDA relies solely on data provided by manufacturers for clearance. Few physicians or diabetic patients are aware that blood glucose monitor test strips that are exposed to humidity and/or excessive temperature give falsely elevated results. Manufacturers know this, and the information they provide to patients obfuscates the problem; furthermore, the FDA does not require the reporting of environmental effects on accuracy. On more than one occasion, I administered excessive insulin based on results from the last few test strips from vials of 50 that had been opened for <1 month. I determined that the test strips were inaccurate by comparing them to new ones using glucose control solutions. I contacted the manufacturer, but representatives would provide no data on environmental effects. A Medline search showed no studies on this subject. Health Devices evaluates blood glucose monitors periodically but has never performed environmental testing. The FDA requires manufacturers to report whenever they become aware of information that reasonably suggests that one of its devices 1) has or may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or 2) has malfunctioned and that the device or a similar device marketed by the manufacturer would be likely to cause or contribute to a death or serious injury if the malfunction were to recur. This information is available at the FDA website in the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience Database (MAUDE) (1). A search showed 691 reports for the test strips and 316 for the blood glucose monitor I used, many from health care provider Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy Comparison (chart)

Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy Comparison (chart)

How accurate is your blood glucose meter? A major study found that almost half of meters do not meet the minimum required standards: For blood sugars over 75 mg (4.2 mmol): Accurate within 20%. For example, if your blood sugar is 200 mg (11 mmol), the meter must read between 160 (8.8 mmol) and 240 (13.3 mmol) at least 95% of the time. For blood sugars under 75 mg (4.2 mmol): Accurate within 15 mg. For example, if your blood sugar is 60 mg (3.3 mmol), the meter must read between 45 (2.5 mmol) and 75 (4.2 mmol) at least 95% of the time. There is a new proposal that would require all results to be within 15%. But how do you know if your meter is meeting this standard? Today, there is no systematic verification of meter accuracy after it gets approved for sale. And as you will see below, many meters are sub-standard. This puts people relying on these tools in unnecessary danger. If you’re going to take a shot of insulin, a number that’s 15% off is a really big deal. Taking too much insulin can result in severe low blood sugars, hospitalization and even death. Comparison of Meter Accuracy The chart below is from System Accuracy Evaluation of 43 Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose according to DIN EN ISO 15197 by Dr. Guido Freckmann and others published in Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Volume 6, Issue 5, September 2012. Between 2009 and 2011, over a hundred people were recruited to test each of the meters listed below. The test strips were taken from at least seven different vials of one manufacturing lot. Over at least ten days, the patients tested their blood sugar with the meter and then a second sample was taken for analysis in a lab. Before using this data, it is important to know the limitations: The study only looked Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices

Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices

What does this test do? This is a test system for use at home to measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. What is glucose? Glucose is a sugar that your body uses as a source of energy. Unless you have diabetes, your body regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. People with diabetes may need special diets and medications to control blood glucose. What type of test is this? This is a quantitative test, which means that you will find out the amount of glucose present in your blood sample. Why should you take this test? You should take this test if you have diabetes and you need to monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels. You and your doctor can use the results to: determine your daily adjustments in treatment know if you have dangerously high or low levels of glucose understand how your diet and exercise change your glucose levels The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (1993) showed that good glucose control using home monitors led to fewer disease complications. How often should you test your glucose? Follow your doctor's recommendations about how often you test your glucose. You may need to test yourself several times each day to determine adjustments in your diet or treatment. What should your glucose levels be? According to the American Diabetes Association (Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2011, Diabetes Care, January 2011, vol.34, Supplement 1, S11-S61) the blood glucose levels for an adult without diabetes are below 100 mg/dL before meals and fasting and are less than 140 mg/dL two hours after meals. People with diabetes should consult their doctor or health care provider to set appropriate blood glucose goals. You should treat your low or high blood glucose as recommended by your health care provider. How accurate is this test? The ac Continue reading >>

Checking Blood Sugar: Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy

Checking Blood Sugar: Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy

If handheld blood glucose meters were always as accurate checking blood sugar levels as the much bigger (25 pounds), much more expensive ($10,000) analyzers that hospitals and labs use, then hospitals and labs would use the small, personal blood sugar meters. Find out more about how meters get to market, what to look for when choosing your next meter, and how to calculate the performance results of the meter you have now. How meters get to market To get clearance to market a new meter, a manufacturer needs to submit data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that shows the new blood glucose monitoring system (meter plus test strips) is as safe to use and effective as other devices on the market that have FDA clearance. Many meter companies cite criteria published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, based in Switzerland. The standard for blood glucose meters is ISO 15197, published in 2003. It is an FDA-recognized standard. It includes instructions for manufacturers on how tests of accuracy are to be run and what counts as a passing grade. Companies don't have to go by the ISO standard. According to the FDA, "Conformance with recognized consensus standards is strictly voluntary for a medical device manufacturer. A manufacturer may choose to conform to applicable recognized standards or may choose to address relevant issues in another manner." So if a manufacturer isn't using the ISO standard, it still has to make a case to the FDA that the device and strips are as safe to use and effective as others on the market. How is accuracy tested? Accuracy means how close the meter's results are to the results from a big, expensive, carefully calibrated lab analyzer. ISO requires man Continue reading >>

Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring Worth It?

Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring Worth It?

Continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) may not make life with diabetes any easier. But they can definitely improve health, if you can deal with the hassle and expense. So how do you know if such a system is right for you? As many readers already know, CGMS give a nearly continuous readout of glucose levels in tissue fluid, the wet stuff that oozes out when you have a scrape or a burn. To read these levels, you insert a long-lasting sensor under your skin, a process that feels similar to a needle stick. The sensor is made of material like the filters used in dialysis. It measures glucose levels and radios the results, via a connected transmitting device, to a small receiving device about the size of a pager. This sounds nice — much more information without all the needle sticks. Unfortunately, you still have to do fingertip blood checks 2–4 times a day to keep the monitor calibrated. And the information you get from the meter is only valuable if you know how to use it. Originally, CGMS was for your doctor. You got a continuous 72-hour readout of blood sugar levels, with a nice graph to go with it. If you conscientiously wrote down what you ate, your exercise, and medicines, your doctor would learn a lot about your body’s use of food and insulin. The doc could adjust insulin dosages and other aspects of your care. Then you gave the monitor back. Studies showed this treatment reduced A1C levels by 0.4% to 1.0% or so. Many people with diabetes wanted this capability for themselves, so they could regularly adjust their own treatment and self-management. Now thousands of people use CGMS continuously. But how well do they work? Advantages According to manufacturers’ data, “You can easily and discreetlyview your current glucose values continuously throughout the Continue reading >>

Things To Consider When Choosing A New Blood Glucose Meter

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 anyw Continue reading >>

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

With Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), you get a more complete picture of your glucose levels, which can lead to better treatment decisions and better glucose control. Without diabetes, your body tracks glucose levels all day and night to ensure the right amount of insulin is released at the right time. To successfully manage diabetes, a monitoring system is needed to consistently check your glucose levels. The most common glucose monitoring solutions are blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. Sensor overtape not shown in depiction How Does CGM Work? CGM is a way to measure glucose levels in real-time throughout the day and night. A tiny electrode called a glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. It is connected to a transmitter that sends the information via wireless radio frequency to a monitoring and display device. The device can detect and notify you if your glucose is reaching a high or low limit. The latest Medtronic CGM systems can actually alert you before you reach your glucose limits. CGM systems usually consist of a glucose sensor, a transmitter, and a small external monitor to view your glucose levels. MiniMed insulin pumps have built-in CGM so the information can be conveniently seen on your pump screen. The CGM monitor or insulin pump is small, discreet, and easy-to-wear. It can be attached to your belt, hidden in your pocket, or placed under your clothing. This component will show your current glucose levels and your historical glucose trends. It also notifies you before you reach your low or high glucose limits and if your glucose level rises or falls too quickly. The CGM transmitter is a small, lightweight device that attaches to the glucose sensor, gathers your glucose data, Continue reading >>

The Fda Has Approved A Blood Sugar Monitor That Doesn’t Require A Finger Prick

The Fda Has Approved A Blood Sugar Monitor That Doesn’t Require A Finger Prick

Further proof the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been warming up to modern technology — it has just approved the first continuous blood sugar monitor that doesn’t require the user to prick themselves over and over for a blood sample. Today, the FDA cleared Abbot’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, a device that uses a small sensor wire inserted under the skin to determine glucose levels in adult diabetics. Another wand-like device is then waved over the sensor to measure and give a readout of those glucose levels. This is a milestone move for the FDA as diabetes affects nearly 30 million people in the United States who currently have to test their blood sugar by pricking themselves several times throughout the day and every time they eat. However, the idea for a prickless blood sugar monitor isn’t new. Tech companies have increasingly shown an interest in the massive diabetics market over the past few years. Apple is rumored to be working on such a device and its CEO Tim Cook has even been spotted wearing a possible prototype that could connect to the Apple Watch. Other companies endeavor to build something similar, including Glucowise, which has a device still under development. However, it seems it’s not so easy to create a needleless blood sugar detector. Google tried to build a contact lens that could detect glucose but it seems the project has gone nowhere since drug company Novartis licensed the tech in 2014. Another FDA-approved device for glucose monitoring without the prick called the GlucoWatch was approved in the early 2000’s, but consumers found it cumbersome and it happened to cause a bad rash in some. But there’s new hope today that the Freestyle monitor has worked out all the kinks. The device is intended for those 18 a Continue reading >>

Glucose Monitoring Devices

Glucose Monitoring Devices

What is blood glucose monitoring? Blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) reflect how well diabetes is being controlled and how well the plan of care (diet, exercise, and medicine) is working. If the blood sugar levels are consistently under control (with levels near normal), diabetes complications may be reduced or even prevented. How can blood sugar levels be checked? Checking blood glucose levels regularly is very important in proper diabetes management. Current methods of blood sugar monitoring require a blood sample. Blood sugar monitoring can be done at home with a variety of invasive devices to obtain the blood sample (invasive means the penetration of body tissue with a medical instrument). Usually a drop of blood obtained through a finger prick is enough to use on a test strip that is then measured in a monitor. A finger prick can be done with a small lancet (special needle) or with a spring-loaded lancet device that punctures the fingertip quickly. The strip goes into the meter first, then a drop of blood is placed on the tip of the strip (also called a glucose meter or glucometer) that reads the blood sugar level. There are many types of monitors on the market today. They range in price, ease of use, size, portability, and length of testing time. Each monitor needs its own type of testing strip. Most blood glucose monitors have been found to be accurate and reliable if correctly used, and most monitors give results within seconds. Some glucose monitors can also give verbal testing instructions and verbal test results for people who are visually or physically impaired. There are also glucose monitors available that provide verbal instructions in Spanish and other languages. New monitoring systems are becoming available that can monitor blood suga Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitoring: Tips To Monitor Your Blood Sugar Successfully

Blood Glucose Monitoring: Tips To Monitor Your Blood Sugar Successfully

Blood sugar testing is an essential part of managing and controlling diabetes. Knowing your blood sugar level quickly can help alert you to when your level has fallen or risen outside the target range. In some cases, this will help prevent an emergency situation. You’ll also be able to record and track your blood glucose readings over time. This will show you how exercise, food, and medicine affect your levels. Conveniently enough, testing your blood glucose level can be done just about anywhere and at any time. In as little as a minute or two, you can test your blood and have a reading using an at-home blood sugar meter or blood glucose monitor. Learn more: Choosing a glucose meter » Whether you test several times a day or only once, following a testing routine will help you prevent infection, return true results, and better monitor your blood sugar. Here’s a step-by-step routine you can follow: Wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Then dry them well with a clean towel. If you use an alcohol swab, be sure to let the area dry completely before testing. Prepare a clean lancet device by inserting a clean needle. This spring-loaded device that holds the needle is what you will use to prick the end of your finger. Remove one test strip from your bottle or box of strips. Be sure to close the bottle or box completely to avoid contaminating the other strips with dirt or moisture. All modern meters now have you insert the strip into the meter before you collect blood, so you can add the blood sample to the strip when it is in the meter. With some older meters, you put the blood on the strip first, and then put the strip in the meter. Stick the side of your fingertip with the lancet. Some blood sugar machines allow for testing from different sites on your body, such as t Continue reading >>

Apple’s Needleless Blood Sugar Tracker Has An Uphill Battle In Front Of It

Apple’s Needleless Blood Sugar Tracker Has An Uphill Battle In Front Of It

Rumors are flying that Apple is developing some kind of wearable that would continuously track the user’s blood sugar without breaking their skin. For people with diabetes, this would be a huge improvement over the somewhat invasive or downright painful options they currently rely on. But experts warn that if the rumors are true, Apple will be facing a scientific and technological battlefield littered with decades of other companies’ failures. If Apple is chasing a needleless blood sugar monitor, it wouldn’t be that surprising. (Apple declined to comment.) After all, the market would be massive. About 30 million Americans have diabetes, a disease caused when there’s too much sugar, or glucose, in the blood. People with diabetes have to carefully titrate their food intake, or even inject the hormone insulin in order to keep their blood sugar from spiking or dropping to dangerous levels. So regularly measuring blood glucose is key. Right now, it’s also unpleasant. People with diabetes have to prick their fingers to draw blood, or wear a monitor that inserts a tiny tube beneath their skin to continuously measure glucose in the fluid between cells (the same fluid that spills out when you pop a blister). So a needleless device — preferably one that continuously monitors glucose levels and spits them out in real time — would be a huge upgrade. “That is the holy grail,” says Eric Topol, the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute who also sits on the board of glucose monitor manufacturer Dexcom. And that’s why so many before Apple have made the attempt. Google tried to develop a contact lens to detect glucose in tears, but ever since pharmaceutical giant Novartis licensed the technology in 2014, the project’s gone quiet. (A spokesperson fo Continue reading >>

Diabetics: Roche Says It Can Save You Big Money

Diabetics: Roche Says It Can Save You Big Money

Type 2 diabetes can wreak havoc on your health. While lifestyle changes can help keep diabetes under control, many patients require oral medications or insulin injections as forms of treatment, too. Watch the video for how diabetes affects your body. Time Pharmaceuticals maker Roche overhauled its blood glucose monitoring system and introduced a new discounting offer that it says could save uninsured diabetics by thousands of dollars per year. The move could help alleviate political pressure as the drug industry faces mounting scrutiny over prices. It also comes amid increasing competition among blood glucose monitoring makers as diabetes rates rise. The new system pairs a free blood glucose meter with a smartphone app and discounted test strips. With some diabetics paying as much as $2 a strip for other offerings, the new Roche system paired with a free savings card could cut costs to as little as 40 cents per strip in the first 50-count box, then 20 cents per strip in subsequent boxes. The nation's 29-million diabetics pay widely varying prices for testing products, in part because many of them are covered by insurance. Roches' move is likely to provide the biggest help to the uninsured. The average American diabetic paid $1,922 in out-of-pocket expenses for care in 2013, compared to $738 for someone without the condition, according to the Health Care Cost Institute. For "the average patient, managing diabetes and acquiring all of the testing and therapy supplies can be very difficult to navigate, really complex and very often very expensive," said Brad Moore, head of Roche diabetes care in North America. The new system offers a spill-resistant vial, a larger blood application area on upgraded strips and a light on the strip port for improved visibility when testin Continue reading >>

How Much Does A Glucose Monitor And Test Strips Cost?

How Much Does A Glucose Monitor And Test Strips Cost?

Glucose monitors and the strips you use each time you test your blood vary widely in price. There are about 75 different kinds. Many are covered by insurance, as well as Medicare, so finding one that your doctor recommends, and that your coverage will pay for, can help you obtain one that is affordable. Glucose monitors are not very expensive; they typically retail for between $50 and $100, and you can usually get coupons that offer a substantial discount. Sometimes you can even get a monitor free from your doctor or diabetes educator or the manufacturer. The real expense is the test strips. At full retail, these typically go for about $0.75 per strip or more. Even if you're monitoring just once a day, that's $22.50 per month or $270.00 per year. Because most people benefit from frequent monitoring, at least at some point during their diabetes management, the real cost of monitoring may be substantial. We know many patients who test five or six times per day or even more; that adds up to a lot of money. For many people, the single most important question is whether their insurance plan will cover the cost of a particular meter and strips. If your insurance will pay all or a portion of the cost of a certain brand, it's probably reasonable to go with that brand. Sometimes insurance companies or diabetes suppliers have contracts with brands that aren't as desirable because the meters require a larger drop of blood (meaning you have to stick yourself more deeply), aren't as user-friendly, or don't offer high-tech bells and whistles such as the ability to download the information to a computer. In this case you can either try to persuade your insurer or the supplier to give you a better model or pay for it yourself. Check out a meter's features and tools before you make the Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes: Value Of Home Blood Sugar Monitoring Unclear

Type 2 Diabetes: Value Of Home Blood Sugar Monitoring Unclear

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling It’s a central tenet of diabetes treatment: monitor the blood sugar closely, then adjust your diet, exercise, and medications to keep it in a good range. And that makes sense. Poorly controlled blood sugar is a major risk factor for diabetic complications, including kidney disease, vision loss, and nerve damage. While efforts to carefully monitor and control the blood sugar in diabetes are worthwhile, “tight control” is not always helpful — and it may even cause harm. For example, in studies of people with longstanding type 2 diabetes, the type that usually begins in adulthood and is highly linked with obesity, those with the tightest control either had no benefit or had higher rates of cardiovascular disease and death. Meanwhile, studies of people with type 1 diabetes — the type that tends to start during childhood due to an immune attack against the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas — suggest that tight control may help protect against cardiovascular disease. So, it seems the benefits and risks of tight control depend on the situation. Home blood sugar monitoring for type 2 diabetes People with diabetes are often advised to check their blood sugar levels at home by pricking a finger and testing the blood with a glucose meter. They can review the results with their doctors over the phone, online, or at the next office appointment. The value of this for people with type 2 diabetes is uncertain. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers enrolled 450 people with Type 2 diabetes, none of whom were taking insulin. They were randomly assigned to one of three groups: no self-monitoring of blood sugar once daily self-monitoring of blood sugar once-daily self-monitoring of blood sugar with “enhanced feedba Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Monitors

Blood Glucose Monitors

What is a blood glucose monitor? A blood glucose monitor is a device that allows you to measure the glucose levels within your blood. You can do this by pricking your finger and putting the blood onto a test strip that is connected to the blood glucose monitor. The blood glucose monitor then gives you a reading. How does it help me manage my diabetes? One of the main aims of diabetes treatment is to keep blood glucose levels within a specified target range. The key is balancing your food with your activity, lifestyle and diabetes medicines. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin. Over time your readings will provide you, and your health professionals, with the information required to determine the best management strategy for your diabetes. Maintaining good blood glucose control is your best defence to reduce the chances of developing complications from diabetes. Self-blood glucose monitoring allows you to check your blood glucose levels as often as you need to or as recommended by your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. The data from the blood glucose monitor is often stored on an online software platform so that you can share this information with your care network. What devices are available to me? Blood glucose meters are usually sold as kits, including a monitor, a lancet device and test strips, giving you all the equipment you need to start. There are many different types, offering different features and at different prices to meet individual needs. Most of these are available from pharmacies and some diabetes centres. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you choose the monitor that’s best for you, and your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can show you ho Continue reading >>

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