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What They Do: Blood glucose meters (BGMs) measure a person’s blood sugar level. To use a meter, users insert a test strip, prick their fingers with a lancing device to draw blood, and then apply a small drop of blood onto a test strip. The meter then gives a blood glucose reading in mg/dl (US standard) or mmol/l (European standard). A blood sugar level of under 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l) is typically considered hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). A level of over 180 mg/dl (10 mmol/l) is considered hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are potentially dangerous situations where blood sugars are out of normal range and can be addressed using fast-acting carbohydrates (in the case of a low value) or insulin (in the case of a high value). 

What Supplies Do I Need?

To monitor your blood sugar, these supplies are required:

  • Test strips

  • Lancing instrument (used to prick the finger for blood)

  • Blood glucose meter

  • Some meters are coupled with smartphone apps to monitor data

Useful Links:

TEST DRIVE: Bayer Contour USB Meter – An in-depth look at this BGM that can plug directly into a computer, next-generation update here.

TEST DRIVE: Telcare, Freestyle InsuLinx, and LifesScan OneTouch Verio IQ Meters – Adam compares these three popular meters and provides his favorite aspects of each in this test drive article.

TEST DRIVE: Sanofi's iBGStar Meter – A detailed analysis of the iBGStar meter, which can connect to an iPhone/iPod Touch.

TEST DRIVE: The LifeScan OneTouch VerioSync Meter and OneTouch Reveal App – Adam test drives this meter, which can wirelessly send data to your favorite Apple devices.                                  

Roche's Accu-Chek Aviva Expert the First-Ever BGM with Built-in Bolus Calculator – A brief update on Roche’s new and exciting advancement for the BGM field.

Livongo for Diabetes Cloud-Connected Meter – This cloud-connected meter comes with access to a remote care team, actionable feedback, and more!

LifeScan OneTouch Verio Meter – This meter has a color-coded range indicator plus motivational messaging.

New FreeStyle Precision Neo Meter Focuses on Low Costs – This meter focuses on low costs, plus it flaunts a thin design and comes with individually packaged test strips.

LifeScan OneTouch Verio Flex Meter – Low-cost option; new OneTouch Reveal app works with Apple and Android phones.

LabStyle All-in-One Dario BGM System – provides compact, all-in-one blood smartphone blood glucose monitoring system

*Please note, this page is not a comprehensive list of all of the available resources or products available. All links are organized chronologically within their respective sections.