Nobody questions our need for blood glucose meters to be accurate. Yet only a few of the meter manufacturers seem to be doing anything about it.
People with diabetes rely on our meters to see what the food we eat, the exercise we get, and the medication we take does to our blood glucose levels. Only when we know that our levels are too high or too low we can we take corrective action.
But anyone who has compared two readings on the same meter taken within a minute or two, or two readings on different meters, knows that the results could differ by 40 or 50 points. This can leave us so uncertain about what to do that we get frustrated. Worse, following incorrect results can be dangerous.
Our blood glucose meters are getting better. They have more bells and whistles that are important for some of us. We have a much greater choice of meters every year.
Investors keep writing me to say that they are going to make a noninvasive meter so we won’t feel a thing when we prick our sensitive little fingers. While nobody has cracked that code yet, many people have tried. If you doubt this, take a look on my website at The Pursuit of Noninvasive Glucose, an e-book by John L. Smith, Ph.D.
While many people who want to make money off of those of us who have diabetes are playing around with peripheral issues, some companies have begun to address the fundamental issue of meter accuracy. One of these companies is Nova Biomedical in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Nova Biomedical makes the StatStrip meter for hospitals. This is one of the leading glucose meters for point-of-care glucose testing in the hospital setting, where people do recognize the importance of accuracy.
We usually can’t get our hands on one. But a correspondent named Michael researched meter accuracy and wrote me about it.
“I discovered that the Nova Biomedical StatStrip was the most accurate meter made,” he wrote. “It fluctuates only 6 percent. It is a commercial meter, they will not sell to the public, and it is very expensive. But one of my best friends is the head of ER at a hospital, and I was going to have him get it for me.”
Then, Michael learned that company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Nova Diabetes Care, had just introduced a new meter for home use, the Nova Max Plus. He read that a study found that it was the most accurate meter on the market.
Indeed, the company says in a press release on PRWeb that “New Study Demonstrates Nova Max Plus Meter Is Most Accurate Glucose Meter.” The study was a poster that M.J. O’Kane, M. McCloskey, and C. Diver-Hall of the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Center in Londonderry, U.K., presented last September at the 47th Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
The study, “How Accurate Are Blood Glucose Meters Use for Patient Self Testing,” which reports support by Nova Biomedical, in fact makes a more modest claim. The study compared the Nova Max Plus with six other meters. This meter and two others were “unaffected by the interferences assessed and demonstrated low and acceptable total error rates.”