3 Day Experiment on the Accuracy of our Test Kits

So the kids and I did an experiment over the last 3 days. Since there were so many posts about the accuracy of test kits that came out of the Roche conference, I thought we would do our own little experiment. Both kids were armed with brand new Freestyle Lite test kits, so I figured why the hell not.

What we did?

Tested twice in a row 4 times a day for 3 days

They washed their hands before every test

And...that's it I think.

I was really suprised by the results. I was also a little irritated at myself once I reviewed the results.

Check it out HERE

I would love to hear your feedback!

This doesn’t surprise me at all. For me, the biggest variable in getting different results is handwashing, not the test kit itself. I also use a freestyle lite and it’s pretty consistent.

Not that the kids want to stick their fingers twice again every time they test, but having them swap meters/strips for the second test would better represent accuracy vs using the same meter which is really showing consistency. It may sound like semantics, but if the same meter and the same batch of strips is used, that really just telling you that the result is consistent, but it still could be high or low. I know how frustrating it can be though. i too primarily use the Freestyle (covered under my prescription) and i have been pretty happy with its consistency. but for testing new feeds and such or random tests, i use a cheap relion from wallmart. with the relion, there are times i run two test because something just seems odd and wen i run the second test it sometimes is different by 40 mg\L

Well I have had many times in the past had a way different number two times in a row with the kids…and I think that is a lot of what the accuracy is about. I may be wrong, but from what I have read people notice the inaccuracy with their own particular test kit.
Frances, I do think I need to push to have the kids wash their hands more often.

Bubba, your suggestion would not tell whether it was the meter or the strips that varied, I think.
But the test, as reported, only tests the consistency of the meter used. To test the accuracy of meters, you would need to use several different meters at the same testing times. Examples: Freestyle vs OneTouch vs Accuchek. When you do that, I think you get lots of variation. Again, as noted other places, meters are allowed by the FDA to vary by as much as 20% from the “real” reading and still be considered “accurate.” The points about the test Freestyles being new and also being more consistent re handwashing probably supported consistency here. But, this was a good test for the kids as it illustrated for them the importance of clean hands (fingers at least!) to get reliable results which is what you need if you can’t get entirely accurate readings!

One more point. Most people here probably know this but here is the common example for the difference between reliability (consistency) and validity (what is truth):
A thermometer can read 98.6 several times in a row, several hours apart. That is reliability.
The same thermometer could be low by 2 degrees every time. That relates to validity or what is the true reading. So the true or valid reading would be 100.6. If you used different thermometers, you would need to first calibrate each of them to make sure they would test the true temperature in a study or for health reasons. Otherwise, they could all be off by varying amounts of decimals and you would not get true readings but each thermometer would test reliably. I think I had better stop now. The poster, bsc, who I am fairly sure is a scientist of some sort, could do a better job with this.

Not a scientist at all…just a mom (who’s in sales) was just trying to figure some things out!! Hehe…

I’ve tried them all–sometimes they are close–sometimes they are not…

And as for calibrating the things…none of our pharmacies carry the calibration drops (not enough people buy them) they don’t sent them with your strip[s (IMHO they should) so–I would guess most peeps dont.

Free meters seem easy enough to come by, and I use many different one–one in the bathroom, one at the bedside, one a work , one in the purse, one at the computer…anyhow…none of it is exact–including one’s reaction (at least mine) to their insulin from day to day (sometime hour to hour)

we can only try our best

Re free meters. Lots of people on here seem to have several. I have not been so lucky. Even asked a staffer in endo office last time and was told mine was adequate. So I have one! Will try again in a week or so when I see the CDE. I use onetouch ultra–the one that communicates to MM pump. Have always used this brand but do wish I could get a couple more, especially extra one for bedside. Though it is likely that no two meters are exactly consistent with one another. Also wonder how your endo likes to deal with readings from 2 or more meters.

Yeah…how do that work when you go to download your numbers? Or do you keep a log? I was thinking about putting extra meters next to the kids beds, but then I thought of how much a PITA it would be to consolodate the numbers. They don’t download them for us here, we have to hand them over.