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A New Kind of Blood Glucose Monitor | POGO Automatic Meter

Published: 11/30/21
109 readers recommend
By Matthew Garza

The POGO Automatic blood glucose monitor is now available in the US. This new device allows you to check your glucose automatically, in one step and without the need to carry around lancets or test strips.

The First Automatic Blood Glucose Meter

Blood glucose meters have come a long way in terms of simplicity, cost, design, and integration with mobile apps. However, the technology and process of taking a measurement has remained relatively constant in recent years. The first automatic blood glucose meter, the POGO Automatic, might represent a new innovation in blood glucose monitoring.

The POGO Automatic was cleared by the FDA in 2016 (for those 13 years and up) and soon after, its maker, Intuity Medical, went to work ramping up production of the device. It is now available for purchase in the US over the counter at Walgreens stores (country-wide), CVS pharmacies (in select regions), or online here. You can also access a POGO Automatic with a prescription from your healthcare team. You will need to purchase the device itself and the test cartridges separately. 

How Does the POGO Automatic Meter Work?

The POGO Automatic is designed to simplify the process of checking your blood glucose. It also reduces the number of supplies needed. Users will need to load a POGO Automatic 10-test cartridge into the monitor, and once this is done, the only supply they will need to carry around is the monitor itself – no lancets, no test strips.

Users press their finger onto the button in the center of the device, and the monitor will automatically lance, collect blood, and produce a glucose value four seconds later. After the test, the device automatically retracts the lancet and test strip and provides a new one for the next time you check your glucose.

You can view your glucose value on the monitor itself, or via the free Patterns app (available on iOS and Android), which connects the device to your smartphone through Bluetooth. Though you do not need the app to see your glucose values, it allows users to see their glucose trends and share the data with their healthcare team using the Patterns healthcare provider portal. The Patterns App can also integrate glucose data with a variety of other wellness devices and apps. To learn more about how to use the POGO Automatic, you can read the user manual here

POGO Automatic may encourage people to check their glucose more often by addressing some of the barriers to frequent tests, including simplifying the process into one step, adding discretion, and reducing the number of supplies you have to carry.

POGO Automatic Reviews

“I was cautiously optimistic about the potential of the POGO Automatic all-in-one blood glucose testing system,” said Ezra Ward-Packer, an extreme endurance athlete with type 1 diabetes who recently tested out this new device. “I loved the idea of having an all-in-one self contained testing system that I could easily store in a jersey pocket or my climbing pack, quickly pull-out, and test without having to fumble around with a bottle of loose test strips, a separate lancet device, and a blood glucose monitor.”

However, as with most devices, what works for some may have drawbacks for others. Ward-Packard described having difficulty at times with drawing enough blood using the built-in lancing device and test strip – especially given his calloused hands from years of cycling and climbing. In particular he felt like not being able to control the strength of the lancet made it difficult to use.

“I love that the POGO Automatic is trying to make testing easier and more convenient, and for the right person it definitely will,” said Ward-Packard. “But for me, the device simply doesn't meet my needs at this time.”

The POGO device could benefit those who are looking to cut down on the number of supplies they are carrying and who have fingers that can be more easily pricked, without calluses or poor blood flow. Be sure to read the instruction manual, which provides detailed explanations for how to get the most out of your device.

How Much is the POGO Automatic Monitor?

On the website, the POGO Automatic monitor costs $68 and a package of five cartridges (50 tests) costs $32. If you have private insurance and receive a prescription from your healthcare provider, you can expect to pay at most $59 for 15 cartridges (150 tests) – though this offer is not available for those on Medicare, Medicaid, or V.A. or military healthcare programs.

To learn more about blood glucose meters check out our resource page here, or read, “Use Your Blood Glucose Meter to Help You Improve Your Health.

About the authors

Matthew Garza joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2020 after graduating with honors from Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering where he majored in Biomedical Engineering and minored in the... Read the full bio »

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