According to the CDC, 37.3 million Americans have diabetes, which results in a total of $327 billion in medical costs and lost work and wages. With more and more people having diabetes, healthcare professionals are recommending remote glucose monitoring, especially for those with the disease or pre-diabetes.
Today, a lot of people with diabetes are using remote patient monitoring (RPM) to get better healthcare. With RPM, your doctor can keep an eye on your blood sugar level even without face-to-face interaction. There is nothing else you need to do except measure your blood sugar with your blood glucose monitor. The results will be sent to a secure cloud database where your healthcare provider can easily access them. With easily accessible results, your doctor can immediately adjust your treatment plan if necessary.
When you enroll in RPM to monitor your blood sugar, the RPM provider will provide for everything, including your glucose meter. DrKumo, a leading RPM provider, gives you the option of using a variety of popular models of glucometer.
So, if you want to purchase your own blood glucose meter, here are some tips you might want to consider.
1. It must be accurate.
The readings of your blood glucose monitor must be accurate to avoid mistreatment and further complications. Diabetes mistreatment due to inaccurate readings may lead to loss of kidney function, nerve damage, blindness, and many other complications, including death. Hence, it is very important that your blood glucose readings are accurate.
Did you know…
Apart from your devices, there are three other factors that may affect the accuracy of your results. These are:
- Damaged or outdated test strips and monitors.
- Extreme temperature in which your strips and glucose meter are stored
- The amount of red blood cells in your blood and dehydration.
- Chemicals and other substances on your skin.
- Insufficient blood on the test strips.
2. It must be easy to use.
Your blood sugar monitor should promote ease of use to somehow lessen the discomfort caused by your illness. The more complicated, time-consuming, or code-intensive your blood glucose meter is, the less likely you are to use it.
Simple blood glucose meters provide the best reason for testing as frequently as you need, so make sure your device is easy to use.
The style and form of your meter also affect its ease of use. Modern meters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Choose the one that fits your needs.
Also, there are certain blood glucose meters that require manual coding, that is, entering a code whenever you start using a new pack of test strips. A No-Code meter indicates that it has been calibrated, saving you an additional step during the testing procedure.
Ask these questions to yourself…
- Would you rather have a small meter for discreet, on-the-go testing, or a bigger one that’s easier to grip and hold?
- Is the meter communicating in a language you understand?
- Are the numbers on the screen big enough for you to see them well enough?
- Does the screen make it easy to see results in low light or at night?
3. It must be capable of transmitting results to your healthcare provider in real-time.
Your blood sugar monitor must be capable of communicating results wirelessly and instantly to your healthcare provider if you want to take advantage of the benefits of RPM. Getting the data to your doctor quickly allows them to provide the best care. Significant delays can occasionally result in serious complications. And this is precisely what RPM seeks to avoid. Instead of waiting for clinic appointments to monitor your vital signs, RPM enables real-time monitoring through the use of connected devices. With RPM, your provider can monitor your health status without admitting you to the hospital, while still delivering the same level of care.
4. It must utilize cloud technology to store your results.
Do you prefer writing your results on a piece of paper? This may not pose any problem, but what happens when you lose that paper? With the advancement of technology, you are no longer required to put your results on paper, which can be misplaced or destroyed easily. With RPM, readings are automatically transmitted to a secure cloud database, which your provider may access at anytime and anywhere. Your doctor can determine if a change in your condition has occurred and prescribe a new treatment plan whenever necessary.
5. It must be FDA approved or FDA cleared.
In one of our articles, we have already discussed the difference between FDA-approved and FDA-cleared. To simplify, medical devices that are FDA approved or FDA cleared are proven to be more beneficial to the user and outweigh the risk that comes with the use of the device.
6. It must be affordable.
When purchasing a glucose meter, don’t only think about the one-time cost. Consider the cost of the strips as well, because you will be purchasing them on a regular basis.
The price of a blood glucose meter will depend on what it can do for you. Some less expensive meters may not have Bluetooth functionality, but more expensive meters may have this feature. Also consider the life of the meter. Ideally, they should last up to four or five years.
Some glucose meters are compatible with testing strips from other manufacturers, allowing you to purchase other brands which could save you money.
The price of test strips will vary depending on the quantity required and the brand. Some test strips cost as low as $0.25, while some are more than a dollar per strip. Before buying your test strips, make sure they are compatible with your meter.
Remember! Quality must always be considered before cost.
Medical devices like blood glucose meters come in different brands, sizes, and functionality. When choosing your own blood glucose meter, always pick the one that fits you best.
- CDC. “The Facts, Stats, and Impacts of Diabetes | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov, 24 Jan. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html.