How To Choose A Blood Glucose Meter
Blood glucose meter or glucometer is a tool in your diabetic kit that you couldn’t live without. The majority of diabetics rely on this portable medical device to provide them accurate readings of their blood glucose levels on a daily, even constant, basis. But, with so many choices out there, it is easier to pick the wrong glucometer than to get the right one. Here are several things you should look for in a glucometer:
Comfort and convenience – Blood glucose monitoring is more than a routine blood check-up that will require you to check on your glucose levels once every few days. It is a constant routine that may even compel you to draw blood samples from your fingertips every hour or so, often subjecting you to little discomforts that may become annoying and very inconvenient as testing continues. Doctors always advice that although convenience should not be at the top of your list of priorities when choosing a good glucometer, it should be given emphasis. The lesser blood the meter needs, the lesser discomfort you can expect. There are glucometers nowadays that do not force their users to use lancing devices or other methods of piercing the skin to draw blood samples. Some of these diabetic products are non-invasive and only require lesser samples than their less modern counterparts.
Portability – Not too small, not too big. This is the rule of thumb when choosing a blood glucose meter. You would want a device that is small enough so you can bring with it you outdoors and large enough to house a mid-sized monitor that will easily let you read your blood glucose values.
Alternative sites – Fingertips are very sensitive areas and with constant drawing of blood samples, the fingertips become overused, so to speak. There are a lot of glucometers today that let patients to draw blood in other less sensitive areas like the forearm, palm, upper arm and thigh. Also, some products allow patients to rotate testing sites.
Insurance coverage – Glucometers are typically covered by insurance companies, allowing patients to obtain these free of charge or at a minimal charge. But, long term use may still cut a considerable portion of your finances since there are insurance companies that only cover the glucometer but not the other tools that should be used with it. Also there are companies that only provide coverage for particular types or brands of glucometers. It is always wise to check with your providers first before getting yourself this device.
Cost – Glucometers are not a one-time purchase. You may not need to buy a new glucometer for a few months or so, but the real expense of using this device comes from buying the disposable test strips whose price range from 50 cents to $1 per piece. Remember that you may need to use three or more strips per day so buying these strips can sum up to thousands of dollars per year. When choosing a blood glucose meter, always calculate your expenses in terms of the test strips.
Functionality more than sophistication – There are glucometers that have built-in memory, download options, and other perks. Although you may only need to toss a few dollars to get these extra features, you might be spending for something that you don’t really need. Consider these your last priorities.