What about the accuracy of your meter? Discussion of different meters and their accuracy

It seems like I have a houseful of meters. I have an Accu-Chek Aviva, Compact-Plus, Ultra Mini (which I haven’t even opened yet) and I’ve had a Countour in recent years. I’ve noticed with my Accu-Check models (Aviva, Compact-Plus) that I can test within the span of seconds with these meters and get different results up to 20-30 mg/dl. What are the best meters on the market today and how accurately should they read?

I have used pretty much all the usual brands, but have found that the Freestyle meters are the most accurate. I had both of mine calibrated by my lab and they came to within 0.2 points of my labwork. My husband also uses Freestyle and his was right on. They seem to be very accurate, and reliable, I’ve always gotten very fast service when I call for logbooks, control solution, new lancing device, new meter, or even batteries. Their meters can be used for alternate site testing (forearm, palm of your hand, base of your thumb, even your leg!).

The sample used by Freestyle meters is the smallest one out there, and since I often have trouble getting blood because of nerve damage, this is really helpful. The new meters they make don’t need coding, and are very fast, and you have up to a minute to add more blood too. All great features. They have a smaller model which is handy if you are fitting it into a small tote. http://www.abbottdiabetescare.ca/adc_ca/url/content/en_CA/20.10.30:30/product/Product_Profile_0013.htm

Out of all the meters I’ve used, the Freestyle is the most reliable and accurate and I almost never have a wasted test strip.

How does the lab calibrate a meter? Can this be done on any meter or just a Freestyle? As I mentioned in my original post, I can sit down with my Accu-Chek Meters (any one meter) and check myself as quick as I can put a new strip in the machine and punch another hole in my finger and get readings 20-30 mg/dl difference. I observed in another post somewhere that most meters are only guaranteed accurate to within 20% of lab results. That is a big margin for accuracy.

They can calibrate any meter. They don’t do anything to the meter, they just determine how accurate it is, so you know if your readings are higher or lower than they are showing on the meter. If your meter is reading too low, or too high, then you know you have to adjust your targets accordingly.

When you get your bloodwork ordered by the doctor you ask them to instruct the lab to calibrate your meter(s).

Then when you get bloodwork done, you bring your meter(s) with you. Immediately after they take the blood for your tests, you test on your meter and they write the number down, and you should also write it down in your log, and indicate calibration test next to the reading you get so you can find it later.

When your results come back from the lab, the doctor can tell you what the blood glucose was in your test and what your meter was, and you can see how accurate (or not) it is from this test. If its off, then you know about how much you need to mentally adjust for when you do your testing at home.

Since mine was 0.2 points I don’t even have to think about it. Its nice to know its accurate.

Yes, a 20% range is normal, but mine is far more accurate than that. I’ve tested several meters on the same large drop of blood and found that Freestyle by Abbott is the more reliable. I’ve done this on several occasions and always get the same dependable results on my Freestyle, which the lab results back up.

Dr. Bernstein recommends doing 4 tests one right after the other. They should read within 5 of each other. When I did this I made sure to get a big enough blood drop so that I could do all 4 tests. Each blood drop will read differently because blood glucose is not distributed evenly throughout the blood stream.

A number of people believe the Wavesense is one of the most accurate. I got it because the strips are less than $1 each.

I too have had several Wavesense meters. I first started using them about three years ago after doing research on the most accurate meters. Most meters are only accurate to 20% high or low. The Wavesense meters are accurate to within 10%. The strips are also less than 30 cents each (retail).

I did the same thing Emmy, I went for a blood draw and checked with my meter at the same time. Got a very close reading. It's a good way to check your meter.

I don’t have a choice of which meter to use. I have to use what my insurance company recommends or pay for my testing strips.

Accuracy is important, but consistency is important too. Dr. Bernstein recommends testing for accuracy by using the same drop of blood and testing 4 times in succession. He says the reading shouldn’t vary more than 5.

I'm probably not up to speed on the newer meters , but there used to be a test solution supplied with the meter that you checked your meter with . Even then ,the accuracy was plus or minus 20% . Maybe , they are better now .

I have been using Accu-chek for as long as I have had diabetes (15 years). I currently use a Compact and just last month it calibrated at 0.2 mmol/l accuracy (lab 7.1, BG monitor 6.9), that's pretty good in my world. I also love not having to handle strips, especially when I get shaky.