Glucometer is a handy device that helps diabetic patients to check and control their sugar levels. You would have heard, seen or used one, but ever wondered what it is and how it’s working?
Swayam care gives you an article detailing the same.
Before proceeding, do get to know about Swayam care. We are a striving medical device manufacturer and, you can check out our product here. We also have few blogs on medical topics that might be of interest to you.
What is Glucometer?
A glucose meter or a glucometer is a medical device that shows the glucose concentration in a given blood sample. It is handy equipment that can be used anywhere but is more of a home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM). Using it is easy all you have to do is prick your finger and place a drop of blood on the strip. The glucometer then analyses the glucose levels and produces the output reading. Though sophisticated, they are compact, portable and comfortable to use anytime. It is an important device for patients who need to check and control their sugar levels.
Types of Glucometers
According to the usage method, glucometers have two broad categories. They are:
As the name suggests, patients need to prick their fingers and get a drop of blood. It will then be analysed to give the result. The application area further divides them into two types-
- Hospital Glucose meters: Wider application of glucometers is an obvious requirement in hospitals. And thus, special glucose meters with multi-patient usability are put to use. Also, the recorded data is transferred to EMR and lab computers.
- Home Glucose meters: HBGM is the one that is explained in the above section. It comes with many advantages such as easy availability, accessibility and simple usage instructions. But, one needs to consider the following parameters before buying one.
- Test strips- Some models use plastic test strips while others rely on cartridges, discs, drums, etc.
- Coding- Some models require you to enter the code given on the test strip. If it is incorrectly entered, then the readings can be inaccurate. Alternatively, you can opt for models that accept test strips with microchips. It avoids the process of entering the code. On the other hand, One Touch models are the best since it needs only a single code. Once it is set, then it doesn’t require changes or can’t be changed.
- The volume of a blood sample- Smaller the volume required, the better it is.
- Test duration
- Display- The reading can either be in decimal or without a decimal point. It implies the unit of measure for the former is mmol/l while for the latter its is mg/dl.
- Clock and memory- Setting date and time and storage of previous results are now possible by their availability, respectively.
- Data transfer
Practically speaking, such a device is not in existence. Although, there was a product that electrically pulls glucose through intact skin. But, it is no more in use due to poor performance and occasional damage to the user’s skin. As of now, this concept is still under research.
Continuous Glucose Monitors
It is yet another type of glucometer. The sensor and its placement below the skin is the fact that makes it unique. It can be continuously used for few days but, then it has to be discarded. The transmitter in it sends the information to the receiver and updates the glucose levels constantly. Due to their lower accuracy and higher cost, they are not much in use.
Who, How and When to Use them?
People having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) or, gestational diabetes during pregnancy must need regular sugar level checks. Glucometer is for such occasions and hence, for them. Through these consistent checks of blood sugar levels, one can-
- Know and control their blood glucose levels.
- Identify activities that cause a spike or crash in glucose.
- Meet treatment goals and monitor medications effects.
The frequency of testing depends upon the diabetes type. Type 2 and gestational diabetes require only two to four tests. Whereas Type 1 diabetic patients will require four to ten tests. But, it is better to get an opinion from the doctor since it also depends on the treatment plan. Discuss the necessary steps that need to be taken if the results are not in the expected range.
Though the procedure has been outlined earlier, it is important to know them in detail. Follow the below steps in the same order-
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you begin to test. You can alternatively use an alcohol swab, but don’t use both.
- Dry your hands and turn on the glucometer.
- Insert the test strip in position once the device is in operational mode and wait for the indicator.
- Pierce your fingertip at the side, between the fingernail range.
- Place the blood drop, in the required quantity, at the side of the strip and see the reading.
- Once done, throw the test strip and wipe your hands.
- According to the output result, you can then follow the necessary treatment steps.
Best Glucometer Brands
Buying a glucometer needs some analysis. Parameters such as accuracy, storage, size and site matter the most. Not all brands of this equipment assure the provision of these parameters. Thus, we have given some of the top-notch and reliable brands of this device.
- Accu Chek Active Blood Glucose Meter Kit With 10 Stripes
- Dr. Morepen Gluco One
- Bayer Contour Plus One
- Beato Smartphone
- OneTouch Select Simple
- AccuSure Blood Glucose Monitoring System
- Accu Chek Performa
- Truworth G-30
- Omron HGM-112
- Apollo Glucome