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LabStyle Launches Dario, All-In-One Smartphone Glucose Meter

LabStyle recently announced the US launch of Dario, an all-in-one device that holds a vial of strips, a lancing device, and a glucose meter that plugs into the headphone jack of a smartphone. The meter currently works with a free app for Apple devices, with Android availability a high priority.

Dario is available for purchase online with a credit card, though the strips and meter are not covered by insurance at this time. The all-in-one device costs $19.99 at launch, while strips are offered through a personalized subscription model: users choose from three subscription lengths (one, three, or twelve months) and a choice between as few as 50 and a max of 300 strips/month. The longer the time commitment, the lower the cost:

  • Twelve month strip subscription: ranges from $12.50/month for 50 strips to $75/month for 300 strips
  • Three month strip subscription: $17.50/month for 50 strips to $105/month for 300 strips
  • One month strip subscription: range from $20/month for 50 strips to $120/month for 300 strips

For patients testing 10 times per day (300 strips per month), Dario’s self-pay subscription model could be similar to a co-pay. The model also allows patients to try Dario for a one-month commitment, and then switch to the 12-month commitment for a lower cost.

Here are our early observations after testing the Dario meter and app in the office:

Positives

  • The app focuses on time-in-range on the home screen and pulls up a tagging page immediately after a test

  • Can add meal pictures, carbs, insulin doses, and activity to blood glucose readings

  • No Bluetooth hassle; every reading is captured in the app

Areas for Improvement

  • Strips: hard to grip and pull out of the all-in one device, don’t suck up blood as consistently as other strips

  • Meter: only works when plugged into a phone (can’t function on its own), and the app must be open to do a test. (Note, this is by design to capture real-time data, though does add a hassle factor).

  • Extra time: It took us roughly double the time to complete a test with Dario than a standard meter (40 seconds vs. 20 seconds) – Dario requires pulling out the meter from the all-in-one device, pulling out a strip, plugging Dario into a phone, opening the app, and then doing a fingerstick.

  • No Apple Health integration

Read here for more details on the Dario’s key design features and its recent FDA clearance.