Ever since I saw the preview of the GlucoCom Telemonitoring System at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting in June, I have been trying to get my hands on one. This morning I finally succeeded, and it was worth the wait.
The GlucoCom comes from Cardiocom LLC in Chanhassen, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The GlucoCom is the company’s first blood glucose meter, but for the past nine years the company has addressed the needs of chronically ill patients and has reduced medical costs by combining telemonitoring with personal nursing services.
Cardiocom’s Tom Backman brought me the system. He is the company’s western region sales manager working out of Highlands Ranch, south of Denver. Tom also showed me how the system works, but it is so simple and intuitive that it was hardly necessary.
The GlucoCom itself is a normal blood glucose meter. It has excellent stats – it takes a tiny blood sample of 0.7 microliters and returns results in just seven seconds. The Food and Drug Administration has approved it for alternative site testing on the forearm, calf, or thigh, as well as the usual fingertip.
I was especially surprised and pleased at the low price. The starter kit lists for $45, and this kit includes not only the meter itself but also a lancing device and 10 lancets, owner’s manual, and carrying case. Even better, it comes with 150 test strips.
All by itself the GlucoCom is worthwhile. But what really makes it special is the device that works with it to automatically send and store your blood glucose readings in a secure database. From there, if you choose, the readings can go on to your doctor or others whom you want to see how you are doing. Your medical information is secure, and no one else can access it unless you provide your user name and password.
Cardiocom calls this telecommunications device the AutoLink. It is indeed automatic, connecting only to electrical power, your phone line, and the GlucoCom. The AutoLink has lights that say “connect meter,” “please wait,” and “unplug meter.” It couldn’t be simpler, since has no buttons to push – all you have to do is connect and disconnect the meter when prompted to do so.
It takes about 30 seconds to transmit your blood glucose readings. You can send just one reading, as I did just after Tom gave me the system. Or you can wait and send up to 100 readings at a time.
You can immediately see your results on the GlucoCom Member Portal. Here you can see your readings as trend, summary, pie cart, and raw data reports.
Cardiocom doesn’t sell the AutoLink. It leases it for $9 a month. There is no additional cost for the long distance phone calls.
In the past Cardiocom has worked exclusively with health plans and pharmacy benefit managers. Now that it’s entering the diabetes field, the company is starting to market directly to people with diabetes. You can buy the GlucoCom and lease the AutoLink from the company’s website, but this is so recent that these prices aren’t posted there yet.