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The Glucocard 01-Mini Meter

My new blood glucose meter is perfect for travelling or hiking. It’s small, fast, has a small sample size, and features pre- and post-meal flags. It’s easy to read and has auto coding of test strips. I can even personalize it with a choice of face plates.

At the recent convention of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in Houston I saw this meter at the Arkray USA booth. It impressed me so much that I asked the company to send me one for review.

The Arkray name may not be familiar. But the company says that Arkray USA is the fifth largest blood glucose monitoring company in the world. Arkray USA in Edina, Minnesota, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkray Inc. of Kyoto, Japan. Arkray took over Hypoguard USA in 2006 and changed its name to Arkray USA.

The name of its new meter that so excites me is the Glucocard 01-mini. It’s the meter that excites me — not the name.

Arkray's New Mini-Meter

This new meter has an especially attractive set of features. First, I really like its compact size, 3.5 inches long by 1.25 inches wide, and just 0.5 inches deep. The facts that its sample size is 0.3 microliters and that no other meter takes less is also impressive.

However, this new meter doesn’t have a data port. This means that it won’t work with data management software.

Arkray says that this meter is both accurate and precise, one of my two main interests in blood glucose meters. While it probably is equivalent in these measures to other meters on the market, I don’t have the tools to provide an accurate check.

My other main interest in meter features is the ability to tease out pre- and post-meal blood glucose levels, which are usually quite different. The Glucocard 01-mini is one of the few available meters that can do this.

One thing that sets this new meter apart for the dozens of other choices we have is the opportunity it gives us to personalize it with interchangeable face plates. The Glucocard 01-mini arrives with a choice of white, silver, and black face plates.

But that’s just the start. We can order any of 20 different face plates at no additional change now. And Arkray USA President Jonathan Chapman says that they, “Hope to soon make design software available on our website so that our customers can make their Glucocard 01-mini as unique as they are.”

With all of these features you might guess that the cost of this meter might be up in the $75 to $100 range. In fact, the meter is available for less than $20. For example, Amazon lists the meter kit for $19.59 and offers 50 test strips for $25.99.

Advanced Diabetes Supply in Carlsbad, California, offers an even better deal for the meter kit. ADS will send you one free when you sign up for its home delivery service.

You can count on my taking my new meter with me the next time I climb up in the mountains. I like to hike with as little gear as possible, and the Glucocard 01-mini fits the bill.

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

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