It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Testing'

Advertisment


Integrated Testing

February 12th, 2011 · 2 Comments

The experts on the blood glucose meters that we rely on tell me not to hold my breath while waiting for painless, or non-invasive, devices. The GlucoWatch, sold as the first and only non-invasive meter, came and went several years ago. Nothing similar is coming in the foreseeable future.But new and better meters appear all the time. And a whole new concept is on the immediate horizon.

This concept is a completely integrated testing device. That means the device contains not only the blood glucose meter but also test strips and a lancet.

I think that this big step forward to easier and more discreet testing is right around the corner. In fact, if you live in Europe, you can get it right now.

Mendor is a small Finnish company headquartered in Helsinki. It calls its integrated system the Mendor Discreet. It has CE status for sale in the EU, but U.S. approval is awaiting FDA action on the company’s 501(k) clearance request.

Meanwhile, Mendor CEO and co-founder Kristian Ranta was kind enough to send me a Mendor Discreet in advance of its release here. I have one in my hands as I write — which isn’t easy since I generally type with all 10 of my fingers.

[Read more →]

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing

Meters for Christmas

January 26th, 2011 · No Comments

If Santa gave you a new blood glucose meter for Christmas, my guess is that you didn’t get what you wanted. But I’m sure that you got what you needed.

In all the history of diabetes only two developments stand out for giving us control. The first was the discovery of insulin in the early 1920s, and the second was the invention of the blood glucose meter in the late 1960s.

An endocrinologist once told me that we need to get a new blood glucose meter every year. His thinking was that they can wear out or get damaged out of alignment when they fall on the floor. Perhaps an even better argument is that every year new and better meters come our way.

A case is point is the Fora V12 blood glucose monitoring system. Made by Fora Care Inc. of Newbury Park, California, and sold by MedPoint Advantage in Birmingham, Alabama, this reasonably priced little meter has the latest bells and whistles.

Requiring no coding — not having to match a number on a vial of test strips to a number on the meter — the Fora V12 makes testing easy. And easier yet is that you don’t even have to look at the meter because it will talk to you in either English or Spanish, at your choice. It also gives you a quick result in seven seconds and takes a tiny blood sample of only 0.7 microliters.

One thoughtful little touch that I appreciate is that the Fora V12 takes two AAA batteries rather than the usual lithium ones. While bigger, AAA batteries are easier to find in our stores when you need replacements.

MedPoint Advantage is the exclusive national distributor for the Fora V12, says Chief Operating Officer Lee Stallings. Their phone number in Birmingham is (866) 563-3764.

The Fora V12 sells for $29.99. A box of 50 blood glucose test strips sells for $28.99. Or you can save by getting a box of 100 for $53.98, a box of 150 for $80.97, or a box of 200 for $107.96.

We all need to think about getting a new meter each year. Christmas is a good time for such presents. Now, tell me please, did you get a new blood glucose meter from a loved one? I hope that you had such good luck.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing

Comparing Meter Accuracy

January 14th, 2011 · 24 Comments

Anyone who has been trying to control his or her diabetes for more than a few days often gets disappointed with checking blood glucose levels. Our disappointment is sometimes not how high those levels go but how erratic our meters and test strips seem to be behaving.

Meter accuracy is a pain — an emotional pain that can be more than the physical pain of lancing. Just which meter systems are accuracy?

That’s probably the question that people newly diagnosed with diabetes ask me the most. And now for the first time we have the beginning of an answer.

In my 15 years of following diabetes developments I haven’t seen a single scientific comparison of the blood glucose meters that we have to work with. Until now.
[Read more →]

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing

Tiny tiniBoy Lancets

September 14th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Even though Dr. Stanley Kim isn’t a diabetes specialist, he had plenty of motivation to invent the thinnest and shortest lancets ever. Dr. Kim is a hematologist and oncologist who is a member of the board of trustees of San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland, California, and president-elect of the hospital’s medical staff.


Stanley Kim, M.D.

The story started, he told me, about three years ago when he learned that he had type 2 diabetes. “The lancets that I used hurt too much for me,” he said. “I resisted whenever I had to check my blood glucose and knew that something wasn’t right.”

The story continued when he went to the hospital’s pediatrics and neonatal departments. “The lancets that they used were pretty thick, and the babies would cry. You could tell that the babies were suffering. So I thought that I could make a very thin and short lancet that wouldn’t hurt as much.”

Like firefighters who rescue people out of burning houses, this was something that he had to do. “This was my  motivation.”

Like most people, I learned about Dr. Kim’s lancets by word of mouth. A correspondent named Ashique Iqbal recently brought them to my attention. Dr. Kim has actually been marketing them since late October of last year, he told me.

“I never advertised them,” he continued. He did go to the Children with Diabetes Friends for Lifeconvention in late  June and early July 2010 at Disney World. “We tested 200 to 300 children, and they all said it was wonderful. It is now being sold mostly for children.

Dr. Kim calls his tiny lancets “tiniBoy” and says that although the tiniBoy lancet is very beneficial for diabetic kids and  babies, it still works well for adults like me, as I also do not like pain.

He currently markets then through the tiniboy.comwebsite and Amazon. A box of 100 lancets goes for $9.95, and Dr. Kim tells me that he is working to broaden his outreach through Medicare and private insurance. “We would like to be able to provide tiniBoy lancets for whatever the insurance would pay.”


Comparative Lancet Sizes

The tiniBoy lancets are compatible with most of the current lancing devices. The exceptions, Dr. Kim tells me, are the Accu-Chek Multiclix and Softclix devices.

Dr. Kim’s technical review of the tiniBoy lancets appears in the January  28, 2010, issue of Clinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology  and Diabetes. You can read the abstract online at “A Pain-free Lancet  with a Small Needle for Glucose Measurement.”

But perhaps even more persuasive are the positive comments by people with diabetes who have purchased tiniBoy lancets from Amazon. My guess is that you have as much motivation to switch to these tiny lancets as the Amazon reviewers and Dr. Kim had.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

Share

Tags: ,
Posted in: Testing

A New Talking Meter

September 14th, 2010 · 6 Comments

At least 38 companies now offer us meters that we can use to test our blood. I list and link them in my web page “Blood Glucose Meters,” Part 14 of the On-line Diabetes Resources.

Almost all of those 38 companies sell their meters in the U.S., and most of them have several different meters for sale here. So why would we ever need a new one?

For one thing, meters are getting better. While they still aren’t good enough, higher standards of accuracy and precision may be coming soon, as I wrote here a year ago.

Instead, meter manufacturers focus on adding features. Many of these features are just nice bells and whistles. But one feature is essential for some of us.

Since loss of vision is all too common a complication of diabetes, many of us need a blood glucose meter that will talk to us. Not only people who are totally blind but the much larger number of us who have limited vision need a meter that they can listen to rather than look at.

Actually, we have had talking meters for many years. Diagnostic Devices in Charlotte, North Carolina, has offered two different Prodigy meters for at least five years, as I indicate on my “Blood Glucose Meters” web page. Diabetic Supply of Suncoast in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, offers two different versions of the Advocate blood glucose meters that talk. Last year Omnis Health in Natick, Massachusetts, became the third company to currently offer a talking meter, the Embrace Blood Glucose Monitoring System.

And now here is BioSense Medical Devices in Duluth, Georgia, with another talking meter, the Solo V2. We all the choices already available, does anyone need the new meter?


The Solo V2 Talking Meter [Read more →]
Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing

Making Blood Glucose Testing Fun

June 16th, 2010 · 1 Comment

If you didn’t think that testing your blood glucose could be fun, you probably haven’t tried Bayer Diabetes Care’s new Didget blood glucose meter.

I hope that you aren’t as poor a speller as I am. If so, you might have thought that Bayer named its new meter for the word that we use to denote a finger or a number. Both meanings make sense when we use fingersticks to test the level of our blood. But most people spell that word “digit.”

The Didget is the first blood glucose meter that connects directly to the Nintendo DS and DS Lite gaming systems. Lots of American kids have an Nintendo, but unfortunately I’m not a kid, so I don’t.

Bayer just sent me at no charge their newest meter, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for sale on March 12. Unaccountably, however, the company forgot to include an Nintendo, so I’m still not having any fun testing my blood.

Bayer’s New Didget Meter

But if you have an Nintendo in your home as well as a child with diabetes, this could be the way to go. It awards points that kids can use to unlock new game levels and customize their gaming experience.

Kids ages 4 to 14 are the target audience. The Didget comes with a full-length Nintendo adventure game, “Knock ‘Em Downs World’s Fair.” You can even use the Didget meter separately without using an Nintendo, if you don’t have one yet. My guess, however, is that this wouldn’t be as much fun. Soon it will also connect to Bayer’s Didget World, a password-protected Web community where kids can create their own page and spend points that they earn when they consistently monitor their levels.

The Didget meter uses Bayer’s Contour test strips and takes just 5-seconds and 0.6 microliters of blood. It is now available for purchase in the United States through CVS.com, Drugstore.com, and Walgreens.com. The suggested retail price is $74.99. If it gets your child to test his or her blood glucose more often, this is cheap fun.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing

LipidLab Omega-3 Test

April 20th, 2010 · No Comments

Ever since coming to New Zealand on vacation for five weeks on February 23, I have been eating a lot of the country’s wonderful fish and seafood. Everything from the well-known salmon, prawns, shrimp, oysters, and calamari to butterfish, groper, smooth dory, gurnard, ling, monkfish, and blue cod and on to fish I never heard of before — hoki, moki, warehou, tarakihi, whitebait, bluenose, trumpeter, and green shell mussels. We have a greater variety of fish and any other source of omega-3 fats, and they all taste wonderful to me.

Because of my steady diet of New Zealand fish this month, my omega-3 level is certainly improving, something important to everyone and crucial to those of us who have diabetes. But according to the results of the LipidLab test that CEO Doug Bibus just sent me, my results were already good enough.

“Wow!” he emailed me. “What a pleasure it was to interpret your chromatogram and data. You truly are the omega 3 man!!!  You are close to Dr. Ralph Holman’s omega 3 levels.  He has a 25% total omega 3 and a 1:1 omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.  He just celebrated his 92 birthday!”

And I am only 74.

Doug went on: “Would you mind if we used your profile as an example on our website as a true success story? Are you taking any fish oil supplements or getting most of your omega 3 from your diet (fish).  You have a big level of ALA which comments on your intake of flax and greens.”

I replied to Doug, “You are certainly welcomed to use my profile on your site. I don’t take any fish oil — but I do take three capsules of Neptune Krill Oil (the NOW brand), 500 mg each, daily. I eat a lot of cold-water fish, mainly salmon (fresh, frozen, and canned) and also a very high quality sardine (from vitalchoice.com ). Sometimes other fish, including the best tasting one, Chilean sea bass (formerly Patagonian toothfish, and I don’t wonder why they changed the name).

“I use flaxseed oil on my salad, which is my usual lunch (when I am at home). My breakfast, both at home and here in New Zealand is Greens First , which I have written about at Health Central. Interesting that you have my ALA results. But it’s not just omega-3. I think the key at least at the start is to reduce the omega-6.”

My LipidLab report is comprehensive and too long to include here. But I just uploaded it to my website at http://www.mendosa.com/test.pdf

Now, I am hard at work to equal Dr. Holman’s omega-3 level and eventually to match his age.

P.S: I originally wrote this article for HealthCentral.com on March 05, 2010. I am now back in the U.S. after vacationing in New Zealand. You can read about the trip here: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/?cat=17

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

Share

Tags: ,
Posted in: Testing

Omega-3: Tested

March 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

No wonder that I’m so healthy and happy lately! I just got back the results of my omega-3 test, and they were quite satisfactory.

In December I wrote in “Testing Omega 3” about the HS-Omega-3 Index that uses a standardized methodology to measure the percentage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in our red blood cells. It also measures the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6. In that article I gave a brief review of some of the reasons why I think that omega-3 is crucial to our diet — and deficient in the diet of most people who have diabetes.

On January 27 I ordered my test from GeneSmart, and I got my results in today’s mail.

A “desirable” level on the HS-Omega-3 Index is over 8 percent. My level came back as 12.6 percent.

A desirable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is under 5 to 1. My ratio is 2.1 to 1.

The only advice that GeneSmart was able to offer me was to maintain my intake of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. I will.

But in the packet they did include a nice set of tables about fish and their omega-3 content. Here is a copy:

Click to enlarge

Click on the image above to enlarge

I get my omega-3 levels from eating fresh or frozen (not farmed) cold-water fish about five times a week. I prefer king salmon and Chilean sea bass — technically Patagonian toothfish — which tastes a whole lot better than it sounds. I usually add canned salmon, sardines, or albacore tuna — packed in water, not oil — to my salad at lunch. Sometimes I add a small can of anchovies, which I have been able to find only packed in oil, which I drain off. I also supplement my omega-3 from krill oil, which I wrote about here exactly two years ago at “Krill Oil.”

[Read more →]

Share

Tags: , , ,
Posted in: Testing

Testing the Tests of A1C

March 3rd, 2010 · 3 Comments

Bayer Diabetes Care’s A1CNow+ monitor for us to test our A1C level at home carries the highest certificate of accuracy. As I wrote here in June, the NGSP (formerly the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program) certified this device as having documented traceability to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial reference method, which established relationships between A1C levels and risk for complications of diabetes. The DCCT method is the gold standard for reliable A1C testing.

So I was surprised to read an article in the journal Clinical Chemistry indicating that this was one of the A1C testing devices that didn’t meet “the general accepted analytical performance criteria.” Two Dutch researchers led by Erna Lenters-Westra reported that the local distributor in the Netherlands of the A1CNow+ Bayer “concluded that the EP-10 [protocol] outcome data did not warrant progression” to the two other protocols the study used.

But the key sentence — buried in the full-text of the study and missing from the online abstract — is this, “The bias found with the EP-10 protocol of the A1CNow was probably due to EDTA interference problems.”

I had to ask Bayer representatives what all this means. This is what the company told me:

“Bayer has reviewed the Lenters-Westra study published in Clinical Chemistry that used Bayer Diabetes Care’s A1CNow+® monitor as part of their evaluation,” the company wrote back. “Bayer believes that the results that the study authors obtained did not accurately capture the proven performance of the A1CNow+ device due to use outside the manufacturer’s specifications [emphasis added]. [Read more →]

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing

Glucocard Vital

March 3rd, 2010 · 5 Comments

For people with diabetes the so-called “vital signs” that health care people talk about have to include our blood glucose level. So I couldn’t think of a better name for a blood glucose meter than “Vital.”

Arkray in Edina, Minnesota, seems to agree. At least that’s what the call their new meter. You may not be familiar with Arkray, but it is the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of diabetes self-monitoring systems. This company calls their new meter the “Glucocard Vital.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Glucocard Vital in November. Arkray just ramped up production and sent me one of the first of these meters, the newest meter on the market.

Yesterday I put my Glucocard Vital through its paces. It performed perfectly for me. Since I test so many blood glucose meters, I like to use them before ever looking at the user instruction manual.

I just pulled out one of the test strips, inserted it in the meter, which then turned out automatically with the battery already in place. Even the date was already correctly set. Later, of course, I did read the manual to see if it contains anything of importance that I need to tell you about.


The Newest Blood Glucose Meter

[Read more →]

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in: Testing