In 2015, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that approximately one in 10 Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. This comes out to be roughly 30.3 million Americans; however, of those Americans, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) found that 7.2 million of them were unaware that they even had diabetes. As diabetes is rather prevalent in America, it is highly recommended that people (especially those who have a family history of diabetes) undergo routine physicals, as doctors will often do blood work as a means to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a patient’s overall health. Even if you do not have a family history of diabetes, you still need to manage your blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes affects about 5% of people with diabetes, and it is often diagnosed in childhood. For the other 95% of people, those with type 2 diabetes, the risk of developing the condition increases with age. With this in mind, take the time to figure out if you are one of the 7.2 million Americans who are unaware that they may be affected by diabetes.
Why is blood testing important?
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, you have likely been told to test your blood sugar on a daily basis. People with type 1 diabetes must check their blood sugar before every meal, after exercise, and possibly at other times if their doctor has instructed them to do so. This means that people with type 1 diabetes test their blood several times a day (according to the Mayo Clinic, up to 10 times a day). For those who have type 2 diabetes, they must still check their blood glucose levels a few times throughout the day. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is incredibly important for you to test your blood glucose level at a rather high frequency. Measuring your blood glucose level lets you adapt your diet and exercise to what is necessary, monitor the effects of diabetes medication on your blood sugar levels, and understand how factors such as stress or illness may affect your blood sugar levels. Overall, this will allow you to judge how well you are reaching your personal treatment goals.
Some glucose meters will come with a set of required supplies that will need to be replaced over time. If you are looking to buy a glucose meter, here is a shopping list of what you need to buy as a complement to a glucose meter:
- Lancing Device – For the glucose meter to do a reading of your blood sample, you need to first draw blood. The lancing device is the device that pricks the tip of your finger to draw a small amount of blood.
- Lancets – The lancing device uses lancets to prick your finger. Many experts recommend that you change your lance after each use; however, a survey done by One Drop found that only 39% of their users change their lancets on a daily basis.
- Test Strips – After the blood is drawn, the blood must be placed in a test strip so that the glucose meter can read it. You must get a new test strip after each use, as using the same test strip a second time will likely cause inaccurate readings.
- Alcohol Swabs – To keep your entire setup as sterile as possible and avoid infection, use alcohol swabs to clean the wound after each prick.
- Glucose Control Solution – To ensure the accuracy of your glucose meter, it is highly recommended to use a diabetic control solution to check test strips. Applying a drop of control solution will allow you to see if your test strips are still usable. The glucose control solution has a set value already, so after applying it on a test strip, you can test it on a glucose meter to see if the machine will provide an accurate reading within the accepted range. If the machine has an inaccurate reading, you can use the control solution to calibrate your glucose meter readings, similar to zeroing out the weight on a scale.
Why should you buy a Bluetooth or smart glucose meter?
If you have diabetes, chances are good that you have grown familiar with glucose meters. Having to frequently use a glucose monitor can be incredibly inconvenient. Although the inconvenience cannot be completely eliminated, the great advances that have recently been made in technology have mitigated some of those inconveniences. First of all, glucose meters typically have a notable volume that may make it a bit inconvenient for you to carry around. Glucose meters that connect to your smart device are generally smaller as they require less volume since they do not have a computer immediately attached. Instead, they use the computer that almost everyone is already carrying around, a smartphone. Many of the glucose meters that connect to your smart device will have a corresponding app. From the app, glucose readings may be saved and logged so that you can keep better track of your overall health and adjust your habits accordingly. This allows you to more easily share your health information with your physician, and overall make your life a little more convenient. If you are planning to buy one of these glucose meters, we have compiled a list of the best smart glucose meters to assist you in figuring out which model is best for you.
One Drop Chrome is an incredibly compact blood glucose meter. Each glucose meter and lancing device are made of a sleek vacuum metalized polycarbonate ABS. The case that comes with the product is a black vegan “leather”; consequently, the One Drop Chrome is one of the most stylish glucose meters in the market. On top of being stylish, the One Drop Chrome uses patented technology with accuracy that has been clinically proven to meet all FDA and CE requirements. This particular glucose meter uses a Bluetooth connection to send all the needed information about your blood test to an app on your phone. The app has been well received by most of its users, as it conveniently keeps track of all your blood work. Each meter comes with a lancing device, 10 lancets, 25 test strips, and a carrying case. If you subscribe to the One Drop website, it will allow you to get all the test strips you need to be sent to your house on a recurring basis.
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The Contour Next One meter has been shown to provide highly accurate blood glucose results. What makes this device special is that it is an incredibly small and light-weight glucose meter, weighing only 7 ounces.
Though compact, this glucose meter is still very effective in reading your blood glucose in just 5 seconds. It also gives you the option to place meal markers on your results so that you can keep better track of when the blood glucose test is being done. Furthermore, it has very convenient Bluetooth capabilities that will allow you to sync your glucose meter to your smart device. From here, you can use Contour Next One’s corresponding app.
The Contour Next One’s app will account for your meal markers along with logging all the glucose tests that you may have taken. It will also give you a target indicator for what blood glucose level you should be aiming for. Lastly, this product has been highlighted by the Amazon’s Choice title, showing that it has a solid level of reliability. Note that this particular purchase only includes the glucose meter, and the other required products required for a blood glucose test must be bought separately.
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3. iHealth Smart Wireless Gluco Monitoring System with 50 Test Strips, 50 Lancets and Control Solution, 1.5 Pound by iHealth
iHealth is known for their variety of health-related products that connect to your smart device through Bluetooth. Even if you are already using an iHealth device, it is highly recommended that you look into this device as it may be a better choice for consolidating your health information. This doctor-recommended device comes with the lancing device, test strips, lancets, and control solution. After testing your blood glucose level through the device, the Bluetooth connection allows you to upload all your results into your smart device, logging and charting all your blood glucose results onto iHealth’s app. The app is also available on the Apple watch, so your phone isn’t required for you to upload your glucose information. If you do not want to use the Bluetooth feature of this device, it still functions well, showing you your blood glucose level independently of your phone. Lastly, note that this glucose meter is FDA-approved and has been awarded the Amazon’s Choice title.
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The Dario Blood Glucose Meter Kit is a compact glucose meter set up to streamline the blood testing process. This smart glucose meter holds all the parts required for your blood glucose test in a single unit, similar to a Swiss army knife. By swiveling out a given section of the unit, it will give you access to the glucose meter, lancing device, lancets, or test strips. The entire unit folds up smoothly to allow you to conveniently store the unit in your pocket or bag. What makes the glucose meter of this unit particularly special is that it plugs directly into your phone. From there, your phone will display all your results of your blood glucose test through the Dario app. These test results will be logged and charted allowing you to keep very good track of your results over time. To get more information about the Dario app, check out the link with an app review below.
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If you already have a glucose meter, and you want to be able to upload its information onto your smart device, then Gluconext Universal Bluetooth Connector is what you need. Gluconext can connect with most glucose meters that have a headphone jack port for data transmission. After downloading the DIABNEXT app, simply plug your Gluconext into the port of your glucose meter and connect it to your phone via Bluetooth. From there, the DIABNEXT app will collect the data from your glucose meter, thus helping you better control your blood sugar. This product works as an accessory to any previous product and has no real function on its own. This being said, unlike the other products on this list, the Bluetooth/smart function that is provided makes your overall glucose meter kit a bit less convenient to carry around.
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