Diabetes Testing

Less Meter is More

This weekend I happened to sit down for breakfast at our local farmers’ market with a couple of young women. I noticed that one of them was checking her blood glucose with the original FreeStyle meter and couldn’t resist striking up a conversation with her.

The original FreeStyle is a fine blood glucose meter, but I know that we need to get a new meter every year or so, because they get out of whack. And hers looked a bit beat up.

So I mentioned that Abbott Diabetes Care will introduce a new FreeStyle meter in a few days that she might want to consider. She replied that she was getting an OmniPod, which includes a FreeStyle meter.

The OmniPod System is an innovative way to pump insulin. One way in which it is superior to standard insulin pumps is that it connects the OmniPod itself to the management device without wires. In this way, the less is more.

Likewise, the new FreeStyle Lite meter, which Abbott announced last week, is better because it’s less. Like earlier FreeStyle meters it takes just a bit of blood and is quite quick. But unlike earlier FreeStyle meters, it requires no coding.

This automatic calibration eliminates the manual coding step that we need to take with most meters when we start a new vial of test strips. Now that Abbott is on the no-coding bandwagon this is full-fledged trend.

Just a month ago I wrote that we can avoid misdosing by using meters that don’t require coding or calibration. Abbott now joins Roche, Bayer, and Diagnostic Devices in offering these no-code meters that serve us better with less. LifeScan is now the only major meter maker that still requires us to code each of its meters.

I always considered the blood sample size and the time to get a result the most important meter stats. Now avoiding the need to code is a third priority consideration.

The company that makes the OmiPod says that it “makes diabetes a smaller part of life.” These new no-code meters also do more with less.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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