The glucometer is a modern miniature device with built-in memory and additional functions, designed to measure glucose at home. To choose a suitable model, you need to determine which parameters will be a priority and, on this basis, make a purchase. What functions the device can have and how to make a choice, you can find out by reading the article.
Conventionally, all glucometers can be divided into the following groups:
- for elderly diabetics;
- for babies;
- for teenagers;
- for middle age diabetics.
Choosing a glucometer for children and adolescents
Choosing a glucometer for toddlers is a little easier than for young adults. For a small diabetic, when choosing a device, there is only one criterion – the thinnest possible needle. Additionally, one more parameter is taken into account: the measurement speed.
Since babies cannot be kept in one place for a long time, they will not give a second piercing of the heel or finger, so there may be failures with slow measurement.
For blood sampling, the Accu-Chek pen is ideal: minimal blood drop and no pain. The only inconvenience is that it will have to be bought separately from the device itself.
Young people prefer to use glucometers that look like fashionable gadgets or music players: Satellite Plus, One Touch Ultra Easy. Now there are enough such models that allow a teenager not to feel discomfort.
On such glucometers, in addition to measuring sugar, there are many other possibilities:
- setting an alarm;
- great memory;
- opportunity to keep a journal.
Small, compact, easy-to-use blood glucose meters can be equipped with the ability to simultaneously measure cholesterol levels. On youth devices, the option of connecting with laptops and computers is also thought out: if necessary, the device is connected to them via a USB port. This allows you to display any data on the screen, transfer or fix it on the desktop. Test strips for him are small, narrow, do not take up much space and do not attract attention.
Needles (lancets) should only be used once, but if no one else uses the glucometer, you can reuse the needle.
Glucometer for middle age
For people from 25 to 50 years old, the functionality of the device is important. They pay little attention to design and appearance. They will prefer a glucometer with a good set of features. For example, it is important for them that the device has:
- great memory;
- functions of fixing the result in time;
- alarm clock;
- choice of injection site.
More popular models: One Touch Select, DIACONT, On Call Plus.
Glucometer for the elderly
Choosing a glucometer for the elderly should be based on the needs of a diabetic. For most of them, there is no need for advanced functionality of the device, the basic functions are enough for them. The glucometer should be set up automatically, it is desirable to be without coding and chips. For this age category, devices with a strong body and a screen made of durable glass are more popular. The numbers should be larger, with a minimum of unnecessary details and buttons. For an elderly person, they not only bring inconvenience, unnecessary buttons simply interfere with him. The main criteria for a good glucometer are durability, accuracy and simplicity.
For an elderly person, an average memory and the usual measurement speed will be enough: 50 measurements and 8 seconds. When choosing a model, be sure to check the availability of test strips for the device. Older people cannot often visit pharmacies, so the brand should be selected based on considerations of greatest comfort.
Narrow strips are convenient only for young diabetics, for the elderly it is necessary to buy standard ones. Even if the narrow ones are more affordable for purchase, the old people have poor eyesight, it will be very difficult for them to immediately get a narrow strip on a drop of blood. The most suitable instrument models: Circuit TS, One Touch Select Simple.
There are glucometers designed for blind people. They contain voice commands and voicing the result. The setting is also voiced when a person makes marks: show the value before eating, for example. This is a separate line of models, not available everywhere, more often a model must be issued by a special order.
How the glucometer works and its characteristics
There are simple glucometers with a minimum of functions, and there are devices that have such additional features as, for example, measuring cholesterol.
A conventional glucometer works on a simple principle: a drop of blood is applied to a special test strip. The device analyzes the information for a few seconds and shows the result in the form of numbers on a small display.
The kit includes:
- the apparatus itself;
- piercing pen,
- a jar with a small supply of strips for measurement.
Additionally, there is an insert with the necessary recommendations for diabetics:
- glucose norms;
- first aid in critical conditions;
- permitted products;
- necessary foods to regulate sugar levels.
Each glucometer has four parameters:
- measurement time;
Each device has a coding, it is unique and is intended for the activity of the test strips. Test strips are different, usually selected individually by code. Exception: universal strips that fit most glucometers at the same time. The encoding is configured independently if the device is normal. If it is a glucometer for the elderly, the codes are determined automatically using a special chip.
The sampling time is shown in seconds, the average value is 5 seconds. The readiness of the result is indicated by a low signal that the device emits.
The calibration is the material from which the measurement is taken. It can be blood plasma or whole blood. In the first case, you need to minus 10% to get the most accurate value. Most devices take readings from blood plasma.
Memory is a necessary function for long-term diabetics. Normally, up to 20 values are stored, but this is not the maximum. If it is necessary to measure sugar frequently, then it is better to give preference to instrument models with the maximum memory capacity. Memory allows you to remember both the values themselves and the time of measurement.
Recently, models have appeared where encoding is not needed. Of the budget options, this is One Touch Select, the more expensive Accu-Chek Mobile model. Let’s look at these devices in more detail below.
It is extremely rare when buying a device, people check its accuracy. And this is a mistake, since it is necessary to check the glucometer at the time of purchase. Do not be shy, the seller is obliged to show the performance of his device. Normally, the error cannot be more than 10%. Moreover, this is a critical indicator, it is advisable to take the device with an error of up to 5%.
For people with frequent fluctuations in glucose levels, the device should be as accurate as possible, since even a slight error can become dangerous for them. For young diabetics or people with a pre-diabetic condition, such an error is negligible and does not affect the final result.
You can check the device by using three test strips. Take a triple measurement and compare the results. If the measurements obtained do not deviate from the standard, then you can purchase the device.
Another verification method is more productive, but takes time. It is necessary to take a laboratory blood test in the morning and make a measurement with a glucometer. After receiving the blood result, you can compare the indicators.
You can also purchase a special solution that allows you to check the accuracy of the device:
- when the device falls;
- in case of doubt as a result;
- once every two weeks for prevention;
- when using a new test vial.
You also need to check the reliability of the handle mechanism. Do not be too lazy to “discharge” it and refill the lancet. It is advisable to check the complete set on the spot: a glucometer, a pen, 10 lancets, 25 test strips.
Additional strips can be bought in 50 or 100 pieces, the average cost of 50 test strips is 600-700 rubles for a conventional device. For modernized glucometers, the approximate cost is 800-900 rubles for 50 pieces.
Overview of glucometers
There are many glucometers, models are different and it is not easy to choose one of them. Nevertheless, several models have been identified that are of constant interest. Let’s get acquainted with them in more detail.
One Touch Select (One Touch Select Simple)
Two main advantages of the device: Russification and simplicity. In Russian, those errors that can happen when using are shown. This allows people to quickly understand the menu and learn how to use the device.
The model has only the main functions, including the ability to record measurements before and after meals. For this, a regular icon is placed, marking the state “before eating”. This is useful for those who make up an individual menu and he needs to know the effect of his diet on sugar levels. The line of this model has recently been replenished with other varieties that are devoid of coding. The devices have presets, it is impossible to change them because there is no button control on the glucometer.
Another representative of devices that do not have any special difficulties with coding. The glucometer has amazing accuracy, it does not need to be adjusted. Although its menu is not Russified, the use is intuitive. Compact size, two convenient buttons and a large screen make the model convenient for most people.
If previous models were budget options for the elderly, then this model of the glucometer is a representative of a new generation of devices. First of all, it has a capacious cassette for 50 strips. That is, the strips are immediately charged into the cassette and consumed as needed. The piercing pen is equipped with an original ultra-thin lancet, the pen itself is attached to the device. The puncture is made painlessly and from one time, the universal handle does not require a platoon. Additionally, there is a special cable, with which data from the device can be output to a computer.
The design is also different: outwardly, the glucometer looks more like a small model phone with a handle. Stylish and versatile, it is often purchased for young people with diabetes.
Save money on test strips
The most expensive part of a glucometer is the strips. They are especially expensive for type 1 diabetics, since this group needs to be measured several times a day. If a doctor has diagnosed diabetes, do not rush to immediately take a glucometer. Many hospitals give patients free of charge not only insulin, but also test strips. You need to find out about this possibility in your clinic and clarify which test strips are issued. Under these strips and choose your device. This will help reduce the cost of buying new strips.
Video clip about popular models of devices
The video shows models of glucometers that are often bought. Among them there are expensive models, and budget ones. An experienced pharmacist conducts an introductory video and gives professional recommendations on choosing a device.