Omnipod meter reads much lower than regular freestyle meter?

My A1C was higher than it should be, considering the numbers my doc downloaded from my omnipod, but I didn't really know what to think of it. I starting using the freestyle lite as a supplemental meter (since insurance doesn't cover a full month of strips) and paying for freestyle lite strips out of pocket because they're cheaper. I noticed the Lite meter/strips read a lot higher. I pulled out my regular freestyle meter/strips (i definitely did NOT mix the strips up) and found the regular freestyle meter read comparably to the freestyle meter. Has anyone else experienced this? The Omnipod is consistently 50-100 mg/dL lower

That does seem like a lot. There are a lot of threads here on this site about the PDM reading lower. I've got mine set to "17" instead of the "16" that are normally on the strip bottle, and find that is much closer. Though, I don't recommend that as a solution. Test yours and see for yourself the right setting.

Basically, this is a known issue. Insulet provides a separate meter because of this issue. At least they did with my PDM.

And, as far s the strips cost, call Abbott about their program to provide strips at $15 per month. They will supplement your insurance to make the strips no more than $15 per month for your cost.

thank you for your response! I searched the archives for this topic and saw that there were issues with this problem but didn’t see much else about it after they approved the butterfly strip for use with the omnipod. and I’m definitely looking into that Abbott program. awesome!!

Are you using the new PDM? I have not had this experience and found it was testing spot on, though I know a lot of people have had this experience.

The separate meter they supplied was because the old test strips were no longer manufactured and the new butterfly strips were not yet approved by the FDA to be used in the PDM. From anything I've read about what insulet said about the issue, the internal hardware is exactly the same as other meters that were already approved.

With that said, I have also noticed readings consistently lower than other meters. I was seeing it maybe 10-15 points lower, but my 60 or 90 day average correlates very closely with all of my a1c measurements so I haven't given it much thought. A PDM reading 50-100 points lower sounds like a defective PDM and I'd look at getting it replaced.

thank you both. this blows. I’m using the old model. and yes, I thought the problem had been sorted out with FDA approval but I’m pretty naive. haha


yes...i'm using the new Omnipod system and my freestyle w/PDM meter is much lower then my two other meters, carelink - countour for Revel pump and my OneTouch Meter. I keep having to recalibrate my CGM too because freestyle w/omnipod is lower then my Dexcom too. Hum, isn't this frustrating? It's like, what number(s) are we supposed to go with, ya know? My freestyle is more often then not significantly lower, as you mentioned. So, I'm using more test strips, comparing them..wondering which one is correct, driving me nuts. ha! Have you just decided to stick with one and use it?

I compare mine with my labwork. I test when I get my A1C done and my endo tells me what the value was when we go over the results. I have had no issues with the numbers being off by more than 10 points or so (which I see as within tolerance).

yes!! It's pretty frightening. I would probably be inclined to go with the one that read lower had I not known this was a common issue and seen the readings in the lab consistently be higher. During the month I use my freestyle strips til they're gone and then switch to my freestyle lite strips and meter. Since they all read about the same I'm just gonna quit using the omnipod as a meter til I can talk to customer service and I don't see that happening for a while. I just can't stomach it right now lol. My CGM also reads higher. I'll report back and let you know what I do and you please do the same!

OK, thanks. I think I might do the same thing..sometimes it's right but more often then not it's sometimes, like you suggested, 50 points lower then my other meters.

Thanks, Kate too. I get my A1C done on Monday, I'll check it with labs.

I set mine at 18 and my a1c have been in the lower sixes. that is good enough for me. Don't care what strip you use set it to 18 and see how you do. I have been at it soo long I don't get upset with much. Best of luck. Michael

michael, what do you mean by this, set it at 18? thanks.

Hey Sarah - can you do me a favor and post if the numbers are close or not? (you don't have to give the values if you don't want, just a the lab read x points higher/lower than the meter would be GREAT!) I'm super curious ;)

I think he means that he changes the strip code from 16 to 18. Helmut had a post about this a while ago that I bet you could find the details of...

I guess I when I see a number thats crazy high or low...i usually check a second (sometimes third) time. I think sometimes its just errors in particular strips, so I kind of use the average as my go-to..

I agree, Agswin. I have found that the meter in the pdm is very close for me. However, I know that others seem to have recurring issues with this issue. Here's Helmut's post.

I get good numbers with it set to 17.

When I set it to 17 it matches my OneTouch UltraMini and my Dexcom G4 (when it's flat-lining) w/in a point or two.

haha i cant afford testing three times in a row to get an average! the freestyle nmeter has been so much more consistent for me (reading never more than 10 mg/dL off so far) but it’s a pain to have to carry both. thanks for providing helmut’s post - I was having a hard time knowing what to search for.

Thats the reason I get my dr to overdo it on my strip prescription...I have her write it for 900 for 3 months so thats a 10 per day average