The blood glucose meter battle is heating up. And we are winning.
Coincidentally or not, two of the biggest diabetes companies say that they have new meters. And industry scuttlebutt says that the other major meter company has one coming soon.
Abbott Diabetes Care announced that the Food and Drug Administration has cleared its new FreeStyle Freedom. This meter uses the same small blood sample of 0.3 microliters as previous FreeStyle meters. But it is faster, providing test results in just five seconds.
Abbott says that we can use the FreeStyle Freedom on alternative sites - like our forearms - and that it will be easy to read and easy to hold. The company says that it will be available in April.
Roche Diagnostics, which calls all of its meters Accu-Chek, announced that it is now selling its Accu-Chek Compact Plus. This new meter includes a drum of 17 test strips and a Softclix Plus lancet device that can be detached.
Like the FreeStyle Freedom, the Accu-Chek Compact Plus can use alternative sites. But it takes quite a bit more blood than the FreeStyle meters, requiring a sample size of 1.5 microliters. It is as fast as the FreeStyle Freedom, giving results in five seconds.
The other big meter company, the LifeScan division of Johnson & Johnson, is coming out with an update to its One Touch Ultra meter, according to David Kliff. He writes the "Diabetic Investor Newsletter". "Look for the Ultra II to receive FDA approval in the very near future," David reports by email. But, he adds, "it’s a good bet that it will have some new bells and whistles, but nothing earth-shattering."
In fact, each of these meters are just small steps forward. Yet these small steps do add up, and less blood and less wait time is better for everyone with diabetes.
David Mendosa is a journalist who learned in 1994 that he has type 2 diabetes, which he now writes about exclusively. He has written thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and publishes the monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, current A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 keep his diabetes in remission without any drugs. He can be found on Twitter @davidmendosa and on Facebook at David Mendosa.