MyStar Extra- the newest kid on the meter block
Another entry to the meter collection: the “MyStar Extra. What makes this meter, developed by Sanofi- Aventis different? Aside from measuring capillary blood glucose, it also provides “an estimated hb A1c values by evaluating patients’ meal tags and whether glucose tests were taken close together.”
According to the website: http://www.mystarsanofi.com/myStarExtra.html#technology,
Mystar Extra will provide mealtime averages with the addition of 3, 7 and 30-day averages. It will store up to 1865 tests and no coding is necessary. The technology behind the new meter is apparently different in which Sanofi’s “dynamic Electrochemistry extracts a spectrum of information that is inaccessible to traditional electrochemical methods by compensating for factors that typically distort blood glucose results.” Apparently, “a complex signal detects and corrects common errors for an accurate reading.” Based on this technology the meter will be able to provide an estimated hb A1c value that is more accurate than our estimated A1c based on 90-day blood sugar readings.
A new lancing device and lancets are available: “MyStar SylkFeel” lancing device with different penetration depths and a safety ejector. Previous generations of lancets and lancing devices are still available.
This meter is an addition to the iBGstar already on the market.
The website also offers the disclaimer that despite the provision of a hb A1c estimate, appropriate visits to your healthcare professional is required. We have also noted a number of hbA1c kits that are on the market of which many people with diabetes have been checking out. It has been our experience based on matching DCA2000 results with these hb A1c test kits that the results are not concordant, which may therefore convey disparate information resulting in changes (or no changes) that may not be medically accurate. Therefore, I am quite interested in the accuracy of the new meter’s hb A1c estimation.
As always, my concern with new technology is that these devices do not eliminate the need for your healthcare professional team. Some people with diabetes only visit their healthcare provider to obtain a hb A1c. My worry is that if, indeed, this meter or other devices provide accurate A1c’s, will our families continue their visits to the diabetes team?
The topic of increased sophistication in technology has always piqued my imagination. I am one to endorse any technology that has been proven to be safe and effective. However, “technology remains technology” and is important to receive the appropriate guidance in the interpretation of the data derived from the technology- hence your continued interaction with your diabetes team. Keep in mind that with new technology, other issues come to the forefront. They include adherence, skill, data interpretation and the continued unpredictability of diabetes.
As we move toward the “artificial pancreas,” it is my hope that the device will have some ability to predict/manage and correct the blood sugars that arise from this very unpredictability of diabetes. However, despite all of our technological advances, and no matter how sophisticated, diabetes management will still require the person with diabetes and his family, caregivers and healthcare providers to think, analyze and take appropriate action. Diabetes education is the key to this understanding. It is therefore essential to continue to work with your diabetes team in order to gain a more in depth of understanding of the available technology today and the means to interpretation.