When shopping for a new blood sugar meter, you should consider the features the meter offers. Finding the right meter to meet your needs is important. Here is a shopper's guide to help you choose the blood glucose meter that will meet your basic diabetes management needs.
Nearly all blood glucose meters are small, portable and fast at providing results. But that’s where the similarities end. Of the six dozen or so blood glucose meters currently on the market, there are many features to choose from. When shopping for a glucose meter, consider the following features to find the meter that best fits your needs.
Though there are many blood glucose meters available, all meters are not created equal. Most blood glucose meters are accurate in how they measure your glucose but they differ in the type and number of features they offer. To find the blood glucose meter that best fits your needs and lifestyle, take a few minutes to answer these questions.
Most blood sugar meters hold between 100 and 450 test results. There are a handful that have the capacity to save far more. This is especially helpful if you want to use the download option to save your test results to your computer and use compatible software to see long-term trends. See a chart the lists the metes with the largest capacity.
One feature that is particularly important to many people is the size of the blood sample. Blood samples range from a sizeable 3.0 microliters down to a very small 0.3 of a microliter. A smaller sample is particularly important for parents of children with diabetes. Learn which meters make the cut.
Being able to hear the blood sugar test result audibly is especially important for those with vision problems. This feature reduces the potential for error in visually impaired individuals and gives them the ability to independently check blood sugar as needed. See which meters have the ability to speak your test results.
In addition to testing blood glucose, two meters also provide the ability to test blood ketones. It is particularly important to test for ketones during periods of illness. Learn which meters have the ability to test ketones and blood sugar.
Newer technology allows some blood sugar meters to now communicate with specific insulin pumps. The three glucose meters that have this capability are designed to work exclusively with a particular partner insulin pump. Find out more about these specialty meters.
There are five blood sugar meters that also include the option to test your blood pressure. Each has a slightly different design. These glucose meters still use test strips to measure blood sugar levels but have the added feature of being able to measure blood pressure.
Current cutting-edge technology is called a sensor-augmented pump (SAP). It combines an insulin pump with a continuous glucose sensor that transmits glucose readings to the person wearing the device every five minutes. It is the next technological advance toward a closed looped system, often referred to as an “artificial pancreas,” that can monitor glucose levels and precisely deliver the correct dosage of insulin automatically.