Lancets are essential to diabetes management. But they don’t get the respect they deserve.
Many people with diabetes are attached to the blood glucose meters we need to use and don’t give a second thought to the lancets that we must rely on for the actual testing. This seems strange because the lancet is the point where diabetes management happens.
Maybe this lack of interest is because lancets cost us so little. But it’s more likely that we ignore them as much as we can because we don’t want to think about something that usually hurts us.
We will soon be able to use new lancets made for us with pain-free testing in mind. The manufacturer, Genteel LLC, calls their lancets Butterfly Touch.
“This name most closely represented the sensation described by the majority of volunteers,” Genteel CEO and Chief Research Engineer Christopher Jacobs, Ph.D., emailed me. “The Butterfly Touch performed 27.7 percent better than the average of the two highest performing lancets that were commercially available.”
Genteel tests of lancets
The Genteel research labs began testing 32 of the most popular brands of lancets in September 2014. The purpose of this testing was to advise customers about which lancets would work with the least pain when used in Genteel’s lancing device.
These tests showed that LifeScan’s OneTouch FinePoint caused the least pain. While LifeScan discontinued these lancets almost two years ago, I was able to buy a box of them then.
At that time, I remember recommending to Dr. Jacobs that he should produce his own lancets. I had assumed that he was already considering that.
But he just emailed me that I did play a role. “It may have taken a while,” Dr. Jacobs wrote, “but I followed your advice and created these super painless Butterfly Touch lancets.”
Not the slightest pain
I have tested several Butterfly Touch lancets that Dr. Jacobs sent me to use in my Genteel lancing device. I am happy to report that I never felt the slightest pain.
Disclosure: I did not ask for any compensation from Dr. Jacobs or from his company, and we never discussed it. My role has been and continues to be that of a person with diabetes who is happy to recommend them to my readers.
A chore less onerous
For many of us who have diabetes, using a lancet to draw a drop of blood from a finger is the most painful work we have to do. And most of us need to perform this onerous chore several times a day.
Even after the failure of many companies to make a truly painless non-invasive meter, many of us are still hoping for one to appear. But painless testing is already here with the Genteel lancing device using a Butterfly Touch lancet.
While Genteel’s lancing device isn’t cheap at its list price of $129, it’s certainly much less expensive than any non-invasive meter will likely be, if and when any meter succeeds in coming to market.
The Butterfly Touch lancets themselves are also less expensive than many other lancet brands currently on the market. Dr. Jacobs wrote me that a box of 100 will sell for $9 through the company’s website, as well as through amazon.com. They will be available in early February 2017.
Now, at last, you can use a lancet that can make your blood glucose testing painless.
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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.