If you need to check blood sugar levels regularly, you’ll want an easy to use and read blood glucose monitoring system. There are many brands to choose from and they come in various sizes, with a wide range of features that help you and your doctor assess your diabetes management.
One of the first decisions to make when choosing a blood glucose meter is a “no-code” or coding style. Because glucose test strips vary from package to package or “lot,” a diabetes meter requires coding or calibration to match up to each new box of test strips. Some blood glucose meters need to be coded manually, usually by inserting a special strip into the meter or by entering a code number. With no-code diabetes monitors, this step is done automatically, meaning there’s less for you to do and less risk of inaccuracy. The Wavesense Presto Blood Glucose Meter Kit, for instance, features no-code technology and Wavesense Dynamic Electrochemistry™ for safe, accurate results that automatically correct for errors caused by environmental conditions, sample and manufacturing variations and user error.
Next, you’ll want to look for the size blood sample that’s needed for testing. Some meters require .5mL, while others need 1mL, or twice as much.
Most people who test look at this as a time-consuming annoyance—however essential it is—so compare how fast readings are delivered, usually in a matter of seconds.
Blood glucose readings are important on a daily basis, to guide you through your diet selections and even to know when it’s safe to exercise, but taken over the longterm, they provide an overview for your diabetes practitioner of how well you’re managing your diabetes, so a blood glucose monitor that keeps records is important. Since most people with diabetes have a A1C test at the doctor’s office every 3 months, a 90-day memory enables your doctor to see how you did during the entire interval. Depending on how often you test, look for an overall memory of 300 to 500 tests.
Another handy feature is a voice readout of results if you have a hard time seeing the printout screen. Many meters offer starter kits that include everything you need to begin taking readings. Then you can order additional supplies as needed, like the test strips, which must often be meter brand specific, and control solution, a product that checks the meter’s accuracy—it contains a known amount of glucose and if the control result is within an acceptable range, you know that the monitoring system is working properly.