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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Diabetes Testing'

With this Meter You Will Just Press Once

June 14th, 2016 · Comments Off

It may be the biggest step forward in blood glucose meter technology in years. It is the Pogo Automatic Blood Glucose Monitoring System, and the company that makes it is Intuity Medical in Sunnyvale, California.

The company just received clearance from U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the Pogo meter here. When we will finally be able to get our hands on one, we will have the quickest, simplest, most discreet blood glucose meter ever made. It’s taking a long time, but it will be worth the wait.

In fact, we will still have to wait a few more months to buy one. Robin Gaffney, Intuity Medical’s Head of Marketing, tells me that they plan to launch the Pogo sometime next year. They haven’t finalized pricing nor have I yet been able to get a device for review.

Credit: Intuity Medical

But I still remember how impressed I was when I saw a prototype of the Pogo almost eight years ago at the American Diabetes Association’s annual convention in San Francisco. In fact, as long ago as April 2003, in my “Blood Glucose Meters” directory I listed Intuity Medical by its former name, Rosedale Medical, as working on a blood glucose meter. So I asked Ms. Gaffney why it took Intuity Medical so long to get FDA clearance for its first meter.

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Check the Consistency of Your Blood Glucose Meter

May 16th, 2016 · 3 Comments

When you get a new blood glucose meter, you need to determine if it is consistent.

Everyone who has diabetes has to rely on this little home medical device. It is a quick and easy way for you to find out if the food you are eating, the activity you are getting, the medicine and supplements that you use, and the amount of stress that you face are making your blood glucose level dangerously high or low.

Like any medical device, your blood glucose meter isn’t perfect. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets their standards and approves which blood glucose meters may be sold to the American public. But the FDA doesn’t set the highest possible standards, so the manufacturers of blood glucose meters naturally compete largely on the basis of price.

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A New Meter with Something for All of Us

March 25th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Credit: LifeScan Inc.

Here is a new blood glucose meter that is quick and easy for everyone to use. But it also offers personalized connectivity without wires in a small package that promises to be accurate and precise.

LifeScan just introduced its OneTouch Verio Flex blood glucose meter. I learned a lot about it in a pre-announcement press briefing and received one of these exciting new meters for testing. While my experience with it is limited, I think it will give any of us who have health insurance almost everything that we dream of for our meters.

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The Most Accurate Blood Glucose Meter

March 16th, 2016 · 27 Comments

Credit: Accu-chek.com

The Accu-Chek Aviva was first in an evaluation of a dozen meters conducted by a team of testing experts at Germany’s University of Ulm led by Guido Freckmann, M.D. It led the field in accuracy and precision.

Few studies of meter accuracy have appeared in the more than 20 years that I have been writing about diabetes. Dr. Freckmann and his team of researchers have been the most relevant, reliable, and prolific in testing our meters. But some of the meters that they evaluated aren’t available in the United States.

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Why Your Blood Glucose Meter Isn’t Accurate

November 30th, 2015 · 10 Comments

The most important tool for most of us who have diabetes is our blood glucose meter. But usually we have no idea how inaccurate they are.

In the United States the organization responsible for setting the standards for meter accuracy is the Food and Drug Administration. This is one of the FDA’s most important roles for people with diabetes because if our blood glucose gets too low we can fall into a coma, and if it goes to high we are more likely to get one or more of the awful complications of uncontrolled diabetes.

But few of us know what the standards are, judging from the messages that people with diabetes send me and what I read on the Internet. For years I have been writing about the need for our meters to be more accurate, but as I explored this key topic in depth I got more and more confused and told my friend Bennet Dunlap that.

see saw

Used with permission of DiabetesMine.com

“The more confused you are the more you understand status quo,” he replied. Bennet is perhaps our leading diabetes advocate and has addressed the FDA directly on this issue. Bennet created Strip Safely and together with another diabetes patient advocate, Christel Marchand Aprigliano, co-founded the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition.

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Should You Use the Control Solution to Check Your Meter?

November 27th, 2015 · 7 Comments

You probably never use the control solution for your blood glucose meter. You can blame your doctor or yourself for this oversight, but the chances are that you never have heard this term before.

sugar solution

Our doctors and other medical professionals rarely discuss using a control solution. It usually doesn’t come with our blood glucose meters. And your local drug store probably doesn’t carry the one that your meter uses.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO),  and the American Diabetes Association all recommend that we often check our meter with its control solution.  Probably every owner’s manual for all of the blood glucose meters on the market has the same message. Something is seriously out of whack here.

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The Three Ways to Diagnose Diabetes

November 25th, 2015 · 12 Comments

For years the usual way that we got diagnosed with diabetes was a fasting plasma glucose test. But there are two other ways that we get the news now.

The newest way is when a doctor told us the results of a glycosylated hemoglobin test, which we usually call simply an A1C test. While a few of us learned that we have diabetes after we had an oral glucose tolerance test, that has always been the least common diagnostic tool for diabetes.

diabetes

The blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes

The quickest and easiest is clearly the A1C test. But it has several limitations on its accuracy. In fact, none of these three ways that our doctors diagnose diabetes is perfect.

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Blood Glucose Meters from Roche Rank Highest in Survey

November 14th, 2015 · 14 Comments

Of the four companies that dominate the blood glucose meter business in the United States, we are happiest with Roche Diagnostics, according to a new scientific survey. Number two was Abbott Laboratories, third was Bayer, and pulling up last was LifeScan.

meter study

But two of the particular meters that LifeScan makes rank among the three favorite meters. Those few people in the survey who use the OneTouch UltraLink or the OneTouch Vario liked it a lot as did the small sample size of people who rated Bayer’s Contour Next Link.

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Is a Lower A1C Level Better or Worse?

November 13th, 2015 · 14 Comments

It seems logical that the lower our blood glucose levels are the better we will be. Most of us have always assumed that lower blood glucose levels would protect us better from the complications of diabetes. In fact, during the past two decades several studies showed a linear relationship between blood glucose, as measured by A1C levels, and worsened health.

glucose meter

But now, several recent A1C studies have shown a J-shaped relationships, in which at the lower end some bad things happen, at the center things are better, and at the top end things are terrible. While linear relationships are the rule in observational studies, U-shaped and J-shaped curves aren’t uncommon, and some authors lump both of these shapes as U-shaped.

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Use this Device if Needles Frighten You

October 18th, 2015 · 8 Comments

Does your fear of needles makes it difficult or impossible for you to manage your diabetes? Do you have a child who is afraid of them? Many of us have this fear, but we now have a way to cope with it.

All of us who have diabetes need to draw blood regularly with lancets for our blood glucose meters and for A1C testing. Everyone who has type 1 diabetes and about one-fourth of people with type 2 need to inject insulin at least once a day. A growing proportion of us are injecting GLP-1 analogues like Bydureon and Victoza to help keep blood glucose levels in check.

But many adults and even more children don’t do this often enough because of pain. As a result, they needlessly suffer.

insulin

Now, an inexpensive device called the Buzzy can block that pain. Some hospitals are already using it, and you can buy one without a prescription to use anywhere.

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