Glucometer : reviews of devices for measuring blood sugar
People with a history of diabetes mellitus reliably know how important information about the level of glucose in the blood of the body is, not only during the opening hours of the clinic, but also at any time period of the day. These are the circumstances that force people to buy a glucometer .
If a meter is not available , what does a person do to find out their blood sugar level? He gets up in the morning, does not drink or eat anything, goes to the clinic, stands in line there, takes the test. And he will find out the result at best in 2 hours, and at worst he will find out only the next day. And for a diabetic, such a situation is completely unacceptable.
Firstly, due to his illness, a person cannot go without food for a long time. And secondly, he needs to find out the results at this particular moment, which will help to adjust his menu or the dosage of the hormone insulin.
In this regard, it is extremely important to have a special blood sugar meter in your home medicine cabinet. But here the question arises, how best to choose which is the most accurate? To find out, you need to consider the reviews of doctors, as well as compare the benefits of glucometers to determine the best and most reliable.
The mechanism of action of the device
A glucometer is a special device that allows you to determine the level of sugar in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Portable models are available for home use.
To find out your glucose level, you need to apply a drop of blood to the test strip and install it in the biosensor. Then the device will automatically determine the sugar level, and show it in a digital value.
Diabetics are recommended to measure blood counts at least three times a day; during pregnancy, against the background of gestational diabetes, two times a day are enough. It is a systematic measurement that allows you to notice an increase in blood sugar in time, and to start therapy in a timely manner.
Glucometers have been produced for a long time, making it much easier for diabetics to take tests and control blood glucose levels. It is believed that the devices of 2015-2016 are more modern and show the most accurate result.
By the mechanism of action, the device can be divided into two types:
- Photometric devices. Blood sugar levels are measured on a test strip treated with a special reagent. It becomes a different color after it interacts with glucose.
- Electrochemical devices are relatively new devices (2014-2016). The main difference is that the machine records the level of electric current generated on the test strip due to sugar oxidation.
Today, compared to the new 2016 models, photometric fixtures are considered obsolete. In addition, these devices do not always show correct results if they are used for a long period of time.
It is worth noting that all the devices in any case imply the use of test strips, they have to be bought constantly, which for a long time significantly “hits” the wallet.
In this regard, new developments of 2016 appear very tempting, the manufacturers of which promise contactless reading of indicators. This device is called the Raman glucometer .
It is believed that this device is able to scan the patient’s palms, then it autonomously analyzes the chemical and biochemical processes that occur in the human body. However, they previously promised to release such devices in 2016, but they still did not enter the market, so diabetics can only wait and hope for improved models of the new generation.
And yet, which meter to choose? When choosing a device, it is better to give preference to an electrochemical device, since it shows the most accurate results of indicators without errors. In addition, the price of strips for such a device is much less.
How to choose a device: the main selection criteria
Undoubtedly, any diabetic wants to get the best blood glucose meter , which will show accurate results and will also function flawlessly. Initially, before you buy a device, you need to familiarize yourself with the various models, and then select a glucometer that will have a number of necessary characteristics.
Initially, you need to pay attention to the cost of test strips, their prevalence and ease of purchase. It is disposable strips that act as consumables, in addition to this, they have their own shelf life, as a result of which it will definitely not work to buy strips for years in advance.
The most budgetary strips for home-made glucometers . For example, for Russian devices 50 strips can be bought for 500 rubles, but for American models you will have to spend twice as much.
The regional factor cannot be disregarded, because some of the names of strips in the pharmacy simply will not be. So how do you choose a fixture that meets all the requirements? It is necessary to consider the aspect of choice on many points:
- The accuracy of the readings in the comparative characteristic.
- Time frame for obtaining indicators.
- How much blood volume is needed to get a result without errors.
- The amount of virtual memory on the meter .
- Whether the device can automatically calculate the average blood glucose level.
- How much does the device weigh, what coding system it has, and are there any auxiliary functions.
As the above points show, choosing the best blood glucose meter is a difficult task. And the new items of 2016 will not always function better and show more accurate results compared to the devices of 2014-2015.
Characteristics of selection criteria
Medical experience shows that only devices from foreign manufacturers have maximum accuracy. Nevertheless, there is an error of about 15-18%, but this is considered normal even for foreign models.
In addition, the accuracy of blood sugar levels is also affected by the correct measurement, improper storage of test strips, and the intake of certain medications that affect the glucose level in one direction or another.
In terms of timing, the faster the meter processes the strip, the sooner the patient will know their blood sugar results. The vast majority of models give the result in 5-10 seconds.
Important information about the required qualities of the meter :
- Units. Indicators can be given in mmol / L, or in mg / dL. Nevertheless, it is easy to convert blood sugar parameters into other units of measurement, in order to get mmol / l from mg, it is necessary to multiply the result by eighteen, if on the contrary, then we divide. This selection criterion is needed for conservative people who are used to getting their results in certain units of measurement.
- The amount of blood. Undoubtedly, the more blood is needed to clarify the results, the more the procedure causes more discomfort and rejection. If you generalize all models, including the glucometers of 2016, you will need a biological material from 0.6 to 2 μl of blood.
- Depending on how many results a person needs to store in the memory of the device. If there is a need to store a large number of results, it is better to give preference to the 2016 models, which store up to 500 measurements.
- Some devices are able to show the patient the average blood sugar levels over a certain period of time – 15,40.60 days. And the 2016 models are able to show results after a meal. It is this function that is considered quite in demand, therefore, special attention must be paid to it.
- Appliance weight. It is better to give preference to compact devices that are lightweight and fit easily in a pocket.
When a new batch of test strips are used, the meter needs to be adjusted to them. To do this, you need to enter a special code on the display or enter a chip. It is difficult and inconvenient for people of the older age group to do this, so it is better to choose a 2016 model that has automatic coding.
Feedback from patients shows that additional functions in the device, such as the ability to connect to a computer, an alarm clock, a backlight, and so on, are of no small importance.
Thinking about which blood glucose meter to buy, you can ask your doctor for advice. As a rule, the doctor will advise on the correct choice of the device, based on his medical experience.
Leading fixture models
New items appear on the market for such devices every time: some of them are really much more effective than earlier models, but there are also ineffective devices, so it is better to purchase an outdated model that has good reviews.
Accu-Chek Active is a German model, the principle of operation is photometric. The price for this device varies from 900 to 1200 rubles. Despite its accurate results, the cost of the strips is quite high and ranges from 750 to 900 rubles.
The optics of the device are very fragile, and if it is slightly damaged, the error of the indicators increases several times. To use the device, the code chip from the test strips is initially inserted into it, and then the code is checked on the display.
Accu-Chek Perform is a German device, but already works on the electrochemical principle. The price of the device is 1000 rubles, the cost of the strips also varies within this limit. The advantages of the device include the presence of illumination, and a decrease in the amount of required blood.
Good reviews are also left on the following models:
- OneTouch is an electrochemical device manufactured by an American company. The price varies from 1200 to 2200 rubles, the device has a menu in Russian. The meter shows accurate results, requires a small amount of blood. Nevertheless, the most significant drawback is the price of strips, 50 pieces will cost from 1000 rubles or more, while the shelf life is very short, no more than 3 months.
- The satellite is produced by a Russian company, the mechanism of action is electrochemical. The price of the device is 1,500 rubles, the price of test strips is about 500 rubles. In terms of spending funds, it is quite profitable. The disadvantages include frequent errors, a long measurement period of 25 seconds.
- The Contour TS is a Japanese device that measures blood sugar 20, for example. Simple to use, applied without coding. The cost of the device is around 500 rubles.
- Clever Chek TD-4227A is an excellent device for visually impaired patients. The device is able to voice the results obtained, the speech is quite intelligible and understandable.
In summary, it is important to note that before purchasing a device, you need to calculate all the costs of using it. For example, Contour TS is cheap, but the price of strips is decent, and if you knock out financial investments, you will have to spend 9,600 rubles a year.
But the Satellite is more expensive, but since the strips are several times cheaper, the annual maintenance of the device will cost 6,000 rubles.