Diabetes Testing

A Noble Meter

Four companies new to diabetes presented their blood glucose meters at last month’s American Diabetes Association’s 66th Scientific Sessions in Washington, D.C. This brings to 30 the number of companies selling such meters anywhere, according to my master directory of blood glucose meters.

At the convention I overheard someone saying that four new meters wasn’t a lot. However, I was impressed by the number. Maybe this is because it was the first ADA convention that I was able to attend, courtesy of HealthCentral.com, which sponsors my blog.

The quality of the new meters also looks impressive. I asked each of the companies to send me a meter for review, and they just began to arrive this week.

In the coming weeks I will review each of these meters. The first to get here came from Invictus Scientific Inc. in San Diego. This company is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the Rightest GM300 that Bionime Corporation manufactures in Taiwan.

I’m pretty sure that the way to pronounce the name of this meter is “Right Test.” It does work right, but nothing can be the rightest. Why don’t they capitalize it in the middle of the word – RighTest – like other high tech companies do?

Aside from that quibble, my first impression of the meter and everything that came with it was overwhelmingly positive. This is without question a quality product.

I like the looks and the feel of the meter in my hand. The big display and ample test strips made testing easy. An associate and I each compared it with other meters that we know to be accurate, and the results have been extremely close.

The Righest take a 1.4 microliter blood sample. It returns a result is 8 seconds. While a few other meters take a bit less blood and test a bit faster, I didn’t notice a difference.

To connect to a computer it has a USB port, which is much more useful than the standard serial port. However, the software is still awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

The extensive documentation that President Jeffery Konecke sent me persuaded me that Invictus Scientific knows what it is doing. For example, no other meter company has ever shared such extensive accuracy data with me.

“We are the new player on the block,” Mr. Konecke wrote me. “We have tried to incorporate all the features and benefits of the leading national brands in a high quality, affordable product.”

He told me when I called him that the FDA has cleared the Rightest for sale in the U.S. and that they have begun to sell it through distributors and are now negotiating with retailers.

Pricing is also impressive. “The target retail price is a low as $30 and as high as $40,” Mr. Konecke told me. “We would like to sell it at half the price of national brands. And the same with strip prices.”

The package that the meter comes in says “New: Noble Metal Electrode Strip.” I asked Mr. Konecke what that means.

He explained that other meters use carbon electrodes. But that the Righest uses gold, which is a noble metal.

“We apply the reagent directly to two gold contacts, so the blood doesn’t have to travel,” Mr. Konecke told me. “That provides accuracy and consistency and a good CV.”

The CV or coefficient of variation measures dispersion. The data he sent me confirmed his statement.

An poster presented at the ADA convention also confirmed the accuracy of the meter. None of the other new meters had this scientific support.

This poster, 1951-PO, which you can find by searching here reported a study of 32 people with diabetes. In the crucial range of blood glucose levels below 75 mg/dl the results were within 5 percent of laboratory measurements.

Finally, the name of the company, Invictus Scientific, rang a bell in my mind. “Invictus” is the title of a famous poem that the British poet William Ernest Henley first published when he was hospitalized in 1875 and I studied in elementary school a few years later.

The title of the poem is Latin for “unconquered.” It’s a good name for a company and for the attitude that all of us with diabetes need to have.

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

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