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A glucose meter is a computerized device that shows your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes, you definitely have one of these devices with you. But which one of the devices on the market is suitable? How much does it cost? Does my health insurance cover the purchasing this device? Can a home health agency help me buy a proper glucose meter?

To address these concerns, you can contact our consultants to get the necessary information about Durable medical equipment, including a glucose meter.

In addition, this article gives some useful tips to help you choose an accurate glucose meter.

 

What is a glucose meter?

Blood glucose measurements provide your doctor with valuable information about your eating and exercise habits, how to take the medication, stress, and other factors. This information will help your doctor tailor your treatment plan to your circumstances. There are several devices for measuring glucose at home. Some of the devices are very simple and only measure blood sugar, but others have extra features such as memory for storing information.

We strongly advise that you consult with your doctor before buying your device, as your doctor has gained valuable experience working with patients with diabetes.

The mechanism of action of these devices is similar. You must first insert the strip into the glucose meter. Then, you have to get a drop of blood from your fingertip using a special needle and carefully touch the strip. You have to wait for a number to be displayed on the screen. This number shows your blood sugar level.

How to choose a glucose meter?

Cost and insurance coverage

The cost of glucose meters varies, and it is not clear whether your insurance covers the cost of that device or not. So it makes sense to first check what kind of device your insurance covers. For example, Medicare Part B considers glucose meter as part of durable medical equipment (DME), provided your doctor and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare.

Your insurance company will probably provide a list of approved devices that they cover. Before you buy, make sure your insurance also covers the cost of testing strips and other supplies.

In some cases, insurance companies set a cap. If your device’s price is higher than the defined cap, you have to pay the difference.

Information storage

Tracking blood sugar levels is very vital. So it is better to write down your blood sugar number every time you measure it. If this is difficult for you, it is better to look for devices that have memory options. Some devices can share the readings in real-time with the doctor by a smartphone app. Some others even have downloadable files that attach to your computer, and these files can be emailed to your doctor.

Just note that the time and date of the meter must be set correctly.

 

Additional features

If you need to take the device with you, it is better to choose a compact model. In some cases, you may also prefer larger models. For example, patients with visual impairments may select devices that have an easy-to-read screen. Children can also choose a color device.

Other features that may affect your choice include:

  • Audio capability (can be a useful option in people with visual impairments)
  • Backlit screens
  • Bluetooth wireless connections
  • Memory storage
  • Having a USB meter
  • Devices that can record carbohydrates and insulin doses
  • Devices that can measure the ketone level in the blood

 

What factors affect glucose readings?

The accuracy of the results depends on the following two factors:

  • The quality of your meter and the strips
  • Have you received the necessary training to use the device properly

Remember to ask your doctor to explain how to use the device properly. Besides, it is recommended to practice testing your blood glucose in the presence of your doctor. Also, wash your hands and disinfect your finger with an alcohol swab before measuring your blood sugar. Then let your finger dry and consider a second drop of blood for the test.

Another interesting point to note is environmental factors. Factors such as altitude, humidity, and room temperature not only affect your body but also change the strips you use. The manual of some devices explains how to have proper readings in certain situations.

The fact is that the glucose meter strips are expensive, so you may be tempted to use generic ones. You should know that using strips that are not compatible with the device can affect your reading. So first, you need to make sure that the alternative strips are compatible with your device. Also, remember to check the expiration date of the strips before buying. If you are not sure if a particular strip works on your device, it is better to contact the meter manufacturer.

 

Review the instructions carefully

The Food and Drug Administration requires glucose meter manufacturers to include detailed instructions in the device package. Therefore, it is better to read these instructions carefully before using. In many cases, manufacturers publish user manuals on their website. So you can check the product website for detailed information. If you still have questions, contact the manufacturer.

To make sure your device is accurately calibrated, you can compare your device’s results with a device in your doctor’s office. Also, let your doctor observe you during the testing to make sure you can properly work with the device.

 

Other advanced alternative options

As you know, sampling finger pokes is a common method in glucose meter devices. Recently, new devices have been designed to reduce pain during sampling. You can also ask your doctor for these devices:

  • Alternative site monitor: In this device, blood samples are taken from areas such as the arm, hand palm, or thigh to make it less painful. If the blood sugar level rises or falls quickly, the obtained results may not be accurate compared to fingertip samples.
  • Continuous glucose testing: This device uses sensors that are placed under the skin to measure the amount of glucose. The results are transmitted to a recording device such as a smartphone or smartwatch. You will be alerted by the device if your blood sugar level is too low or too high. Unfortunately, these devices are very expensive, and the sensors must be replaced every 7 to 14 days. In addition, you may still need a traditional monitor to confirm readings.

Despite these advances, finger pokes are still recognized as a gold standard.

 

Let’s sum up…

In a word, cost, insurance coverage, and additional features play an important role in your choice. However, do not forget to consider your doctor’s recommendation when choosing a glucose meter.

2 Comments

  1. Arnie says:

    I used the data and got the best one, thanks

    (5/5)

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