When it comes time to purchase a blood glucose meter, it isn’t as simple as picking up the first one that you come across. There are some things that must be taken into consideration before making your purchase. In order to find the right blood glucose meter that will provide you with the information that you need to maintain your health, you must make sure that your selection will provide you with the most accurate results possible. This guide will help you to know what to look for when buying a blood glucose meter, and provide you with tips and recommendations to assist you in the process of finding a reasonably priced unit that will meet your monitoring needs.
Why you must be selective in your glucose meter choices
Accuracy in testing blood glucose levels is a necessity. This is particularly true if you have a medical condition that is at a critical stage. Knowing exactly what your numbers are can be vital in ensuring that your blood sugar does not reach dangerous levels. This is why the meter that you use must be certified to meet FDA clearance at a minimum, and have an excellent track record for being accurate. FDA clearance does not guarantee that it will perform up to high standards though.
There is a sea of different brands and models of glucose testing meters for sale. In addition, there are as many brands of testing strips. It is not only important to identify the best testing meter, but after you’ve accomplished this, you absolutely must ensure that the testing strips are highly compatible with the meter or you will not get accurate results from testing.
What to look for in blood glucose meters?
Look for a meter that has FDA clearance, and in addition has an excellent track record for being accurate as proved through independent testing, clinical trials and with consumers who have used and provided consumer reviews. These can be easily found online by typing in the name of the product and consumer reviews. This can give you an idea of what others have experienced when using the product. Look for accuracy ratings as the first priority, followed by ease of use and overall customer satisfaction. If the majority of users give neutral or poor ratings it isn’t worth taking a chance that the product will work well for you.
Ease of use
The glucometer should be relatively easy to use. The screen should appear bright and easy to read with buttons that are easy to use. The test strips required for the unit should also be easy to handle and the best units should only require a small sample of blood. For users who are visually impaired, some monitors are made with a talking meter as an added feature.
Look for meters that do not require the entry of new coding every time you introduce a new package of testing strips. This lessens the chances of error for those of you who feel that this is a hassle. If you don’t mind entering the code, then more options will be open to you.
Different testing sites
Opting for a meter that allows you to draw blood from various parts of the body can help to give your fingertips a much needed rest from constant pricking. Some meters require blood from the fingertips and this can become painful depending upon the amount of testing that must be done. In some cases, blood is required specifically from the fingertips, such as during rapid blood glucose shifts. You should consult with your physician about this as each person is an individual.
Data storage features
Some of the better blood glucose meters have the capacity to store large amounts of readings that includes the date and time that they were taken. This is helpful in tracking patterns in blood glucose levels. Models with data transfer capacities accomplished through USB cables make it possible to upload the data to a computer for better tracking and the ability to share the data with your health care provider.
Reasonably priced test strips
The testing strips are the most expensive part of blood glucose monitoring. Look for test strips that are compatible with your brand and model of blood glucose monitor and compare brands for the best prices. When doing this, run a quick online check to make sure that the brand you choose has high customer reviews for ease of use and accuracy prior to purchasing.
Using the wrong type of test strip with blood glucose meters can result in fatality. This has happened in 13 documented cases. GDH-PQQ test strips misread the BSLs in these cases. These are not compatible strips with some brands so double check to ensure that the strips you select are highly compatible.
Glucose Meter Education
The meter you select should contain a detail user’s manual and complete instructions that are clear and easy to understand. This is vital information that can mean the difference in using it properly for accurate readings, or making mistakes that could cost you in the form of health complications or may even result in death.
Selecting the right blood glucose meter is a requirement for maintaining the best health possible. Finding a unit that has been tested and proven to have a good track record for accuracy and ease of use is the first step. The meter should contain detailed and clear instructions that both show and tell you how to use the device properly. After this, identifying a type of testing strips that is compatible with the meter that you are using, and also have an excellent track record for ease of use and accuracy is the next step.
Understanding the reality that some meters and strips are not known to be reliable and that they should be avoided can help you to hone in on the better brands and models that can mean the difference between life and death. Following these recommendations and tips will help you to make the best possible choice for purchasing a blood glucose meter.