I’ll preface this with that I’m VERY happy with Abbott (Freestyle) as a company. That said, even with discounts, test strips are more than meds. So I’m looking. TRUEbalance is offering two x 50 strips plus the meter for $31.98 at AmericanDiabetesWholesale.com, which got me to thinking it’d be a really good thing to have us rate our meters. So… weigh in, please?
Meters are always inaccurate:
they are measuring the glucose concentration in the fluid of our fingers. This fluid concentration is different from the full blood concentration. Depending on many factors it will be mixed with lymph fluid of the finger. So a full blood sample will always beat a finger sample in accuracy. This is mentioned in the description of your test stripes. Taking two drops from the same finger in the same minute will give you different results. This fact can not be compensated by technology.
the higher the measurement speed the lower the accuracy (in my experience). This is a factor that can be influenced. but most companies have favoured speed so we can not really compare between different speeds anymore.
the older the meter the lower the accuracy (this is from a study).
certain limits of accuracy have been defined. You can argue that the FDA criterias are too lax. But most companies want to sell their stripes in many countries so they are bound to the limits of the strictest country. In my opinion most test stripes are very comparable in their accuracy.
Because of this I rate my meter and test stripes by their pricing. I am using GlucoCheck comfort and I think these stripes are relabeled OneTouch stripes but I am not sure about that. I would rate them 7 because in Germany they are the second cheapest (50 for 24€ = $33.5). I would even choose the cheapest stripes from i-Sens / CareSens but these stripes are not available in many pharmacies (50 for 18€ = $25).
What I like about the GlucoCheck comfort:
a) no manual coding necessary
b) it does its job!
What do I dislike:
a) is has insufficient rubber on the lower side so it will slip easily
b) if you are in history mode (back and forth in the previous numbers) and you insert a stripe it will not recognize that. So you have to leave history mode and then you can insert the stripe.
c) 50 stripes come in two tubes. I then have to pack two tubes in one - that creates unnecessary waste.
One touch Ultra Smart
Like - Ability to download the results into the One Touch Software and print/email to take to my endo, ability to mark each reading in relation to meals, and the abilty to customize my highs and lows flags for the meter and software, like the glucose analysis and trends on the meter itself
Dislike - nothing, really
Test strips - about $1 each from my understanding. I am completely covered, however, for my test atrips.