Glucose Meters

You’ve no doubt seen the TV ad that says there meters are more accurate. There is no such thing as more accurate. Accurate is an absolute; therefore, it cannot be improved upon. What the advertisor isn’t saying is that his meters are accurate. The ad should be straight forward. It could say that their meters are closer to accurate. But that would certainly mean that they are not accurate. On the other hand, if some company should make a meter that is accurate, then they could then say, our meters are accurate. Always listen closely. Oh, yes, read all labels-- never assume anything.

There have been some ongoing conversations about this. Some of the basic issues we all deal with are

Home blood glucose monitors have an accuracy of +/- 20% from laboratory values. If one is in a "normal" range (80-120), this is not generally too scary -- but as the numbers get further from non-diabetic values, the margin of error grows.
Weather Sensitivity
Many strips' reagents are not rated for environments such as outdoors in late-fall and winter weather (under 40F/4.5C), summer weather (over 90F/30C), and high humidity.
Contaminant Sensitivity
When your blood sugars are/should be stable, do a fingertip test of your blood glucose. Peel and section an orange, but do not eat it. Test again. Your meter may read a blood glucose spike of 100 points or more. Wash your hands (still not eating the orange). Test again. Orange essential oil contaminants may still cause an elevated blood glucose reading. The same thing applies for balsamic vinegar, and for most fruits.
Many manufacturers publish the accuracy curves of their monitors, as well as other selling points that relate to their accuracy (for example, one of the selling points of the Agamatrix/Wavesense system is that it is supposed to be able to ignore contaminants). I'm currently gathering materials to do a comparison of a handful of common meters; I'm looking forward to seeing how they do, and do not, handle some of these issues.