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

Entries Tagged as 'Diabetes Testing'

Three Surprises in a New Survey of Blood Glucose Meter Satisfaction

December 9th, 2014 · No Comments

A survey that came out this morning shows that an overwhelming proportion of people in this country who use blood glucose meters really like the ones that Bayer makes. But the meters that the other three leading manufacturers make aren’t far behind.

These results surprise me. With all the complaints that I get here about the inaccuracy and lack of precision of our meters I didn’t expect the degree of satisfaction that this survey reported. Either they know something that we don’t or ignorance is bliss.

In any case, meters made by Bayer AG, the German pharmaceutical and chemical company, ranked highest in customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power survey of 2,024 people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. “Bayer ranks highest in satisfaction with a score of 843, performing particularly well in meter performance; ease of use; design; features; and cost of test strips,” J.D. Power says.  Since the survey is calculated on a 1,000 point scale, let’s just say that 84 percent of the users that they surveyed are satisfied with Bayer meters.

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How Often Should People with Diabetes Check Their A1C?

November 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments

A new study concludes that people who have diabetes should check their blood glucose level with A1C tests more often than the experts recommend. But even then the study doesn’t go far enough.

The study looked at more than 400,000 tests by about 80,000 people whose doctors prescribed them between 2008 and 2011. It focused on the relationship between the retest interval and the percentage change in A1C level.

The results of this massive analysis just appeared in the current issue of Diabetes Care. The abstract of the study is free online, and an endocrinologist friend of mine kindly gave me a copy of the full text.

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Easy and Accurate Diabetes Monitoring at Home Is Available

October 26th, 2014 · 14 Comments

The A1CNow device is the easiest and most accurate way for those of us who have diabetes to check our key blood glucose level at home. But it still has spotty availability.

Chex Diagnostics, formerly known at Polymer Technology Systems, started shipping it six months ago after the company had purchased the A1CNow business from Bayer Diabetes Care last year. But many pharmacies don’t have it yet.

The good news, however, is that we can get it for less than ever before.

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Diabetes Testing That Is Even More Gentle

October 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Three months ago I reviewed Genteel’s new “gentle lancing instrument” here at “Gentle Testing for Diabetes.” The company claims right on the box that it gives us “blood testing without pain!”

In all my experience with the device this is no exaggeration. It has improved the quality of my life and that of other people with diabetes who test their blood sugar.

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Gentle Testing for Diabetes

July 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Nobody ever dared to claim that drawing a drop of blood to check our blood sugar levels could be gentle. Until now.

A new company named Genteel has just started shipping its “gentle lancing instrument.” The box that it comes in says right on it that it give us “blood testing without pain!”

Genteel Kit with Box (1).jpg

For many of us who have diabetes using a blood glucose meter and lancing device is the most painful thing we have to do. And most of us perform this onerous chore several times a day.

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Generic Test Strips for Diabetes

June 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

Generic products can help us manage the costly disease known as diabetes. In the past few years we got generic pills, including metformin. Now we have genetic test strips for our blood glucose meters.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved generic test strips that we can use with most of LifeScan’s OneTouch Ultra meters. Now you can buy them now.

LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company, sells more blood glucose meters in the United States than any other meter manufacturer. You are more likely to find their meters on your health plan’s formulary than those made by any other company.

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UniStrip Technologies in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers generic test strips for LifeScan’s four best-selling meters in the Ultra family: the OneTouch Ultra, Ultra2, UltraSmart, and UltraMini. PharmaTech Solutions (owned by Shasta Technologies) in Westlake Village, California, offers generic strips for three of these: the OneTouch Ultra, Ultra2, and UltraMini.

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The Best Way to Check Our Diabetes Control Is Back

May 25th, 2014 · 3 Comments

The A1CNow meter for checking the key level of sugar in our blood is back. Chek Diagnostics, which changed its name from Polymer Technology Systems on March 27, just started shipping this meter that lets us check our A1C level at home.

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I reported here on December 24 in “A Christmas Gift to People with Diabetes with Polymer” that the company had purchased the A1CNow business from Bayer Diabetes Care.

During the transition in ownership the availability of the A1CNow meter became spotty. Fortunately, the new owners didn’t change the device or its name. It is fortunate because they didn’t have to wait for the long approval process that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires for new and revised devices.

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Help Arrives for Diabetes Supplements

March 1st, 2014 · 3 Comments

Most of us take some supplements every day. But few of us have any idea what we are taking.

Help has begun to arrive.

Shopping for Supplements

Sixty-eight percent of American adults take nutritional or dietary supplements, according to a 2012 customer survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. I’m sure that the proportion is even higher among those of us who have diabetes.

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Why and How to Track Diabetes Health

February 23rd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Most people who have diabetes track their blood sugar levels. Lots of us also track our weight, what we eat, and our exercise. But not many of us do anything useful with these numbers.

If we want to improve any of them, just writing them down and studying them will get us part of the way there. That’s because of the observer effect where simply observing something changes what we see.

Tracking Bears and Tracking Diabetes Have Lots in Common

But only when we act in response to our health tracking, does it began to be worth the effort. People with diabetes who don’t use insulin are wasting their time and money when they test their blood sugar, according to a study by the Cochrane Collaboration, the most respected group that reviews scientific studies. Two years ago I wrote about and linked that study in my post, “The Trouble with Glucose Testing.” The problem is that our medical professionals don’t usually teach us what our blood sugar levels should be and how to get there.

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A Christmas Gift to People with Diabetes from Polymer

February 15th, 2014 · No Comments

The best way that we have to check our A1C level will live after all. In September I reported here in “The Key Diabetes Test Bites the Dust” that Bayer Diabetes Care would stop making the A1CNow device at the end of this year.


At that time I asked a Bayer spokesperson whom I had known for years if Bayer might sell the facility that makes the A1CNow device to another company. “Our business plans are confidential,” she replied.

But yesterday, December 23, Polymer Technology Systems Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana, announced that “it has acquired the A1CNow family of products from Bayer Diabetes Care.” The announcement was a brief, six-paragraph press release to PR Newswire, and I have not been able to reach anyone at Polymer.

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