When you increase how often you check your blood glucose, your A1C level will probably go lower. When you bring your level down to normal — which is somewhere below 6.0 — you are managing your diabetes rather than letting it control your health.
A new study of 211 people demonstrated this positive result. These were the people who responded to a still unpublished survey that the diabetes company, Genteel, sent to 1,500 customers who had purchased a Genteel lancing device. On average, these people reported that their A1C level had dropped from 8.37 to 7.31 — a decrease of about 1.1 percent.
I hope you are already using a blood glucose meter, if you have diabetes or prediabetes. Using one of these meters is the only way that you can know how you are doing with the food you eat, the exercise you get, and the medicine you take may be sending your levels too low or too high.
Do you already have a meter? If you do, you may want to consider a new one. I remember an endocrinologist telling me 20 years ago that we should get a new one every year. Because the technology is much better nowadays, we probably can keep using a meter longer than that. But any meter can go out of whack — for example, if you drop it. And the newer ones keep getting better.
The new Jazz Wireless 2 meter from AgaMatrix of Salem, New Hampshire, is likely to be superior to the one you are using. It’s one of the most accurate and certainly the smallest blood glucose meter that you can use. It’s also one of the least expensive on the market.
AgaMatrix isn’t one of the Big Four meter companies. LifeScan, Accu-Chek, Abbott, and Panasonic Healthcare (which early this year bought Bayer Diabetes) dominate the health insurance formularies, so many people with diabetes fail to look beyond them.
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.
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.
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.
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.