How To Check Accuracy Of Glucose Meter
There is no doubt that it is extremely important that your glucose meters is giving you accurate results. But how to actually check the accuracy of Glucose Meter?
The reason this article is written is because a lot of best glucose meters are also not accurate in their readings and they can cause a huge misconception to the patient
You might have heard people saying that not all the glucose meters offer accurate results. So how you are going to check if your glucose meter is giving you the right results? Well, to help you out with this, I am going to talk about How to check accuracy of glucose meter.
However, the best way to check the accuracy of glucose meter would be to start using it in the first place. So the question is how to use a glucose meter? Well, let me answer this question at first:
Meter Standards Since 2016
Because older meters were notorious for poor accuracy, the FDA implemented an accuracy study guideline in 2016 that all new meters must pass before approval. The tighter tolerance implemented is +/-20% for 99% of the readings. Pops Rebel has been through this study successfully and submitted data to the FDA that met an even tighter standard!
What does it mean for a meter to have 99% of results with the new standard of +/-20% accuracy?
Lets assume that we magically know your true glucose is 100 mg/dl. If you check your blood sugar 100 times, an accurate meter may show 99 results within the range of 80 to 120 mg/dl, with most of the results nearer your true glucose level. And it is still acceptable that one result may be even further out of the +/-20% tolerance.
This table will help you understand the +/- 20% range for various glucose levels.
Prepare The Lancet Device:
Now you have to prepare your lancet device. For this, you can simply remove the cover of the lancet and put the needle in it. Then remove the needle cap by twisting it and make sure not to touch the needle. After that, replace the lancet cover carefully and adjust the depth of your lancet device according to your skin thickness. In the end, prime the lanced device by pressing the release button, and you are all done.
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Why Is It Important For A Blood Glucose Meter To Be Accurate
Blood glucose meter accuracy is important for several reasons:
- Improved reliability in your data and trust in your current diabetes management plan.
- Helps you understand and/or anticipate potential lab results when going for your A1c checkup.
- Lets you know what impacts your blood sugar:
- Did that glass of wine last night have a significant impact?
- Did you experience a spike or drop in blood sugar after that amazing Zumba class?
- Is there a connection between your stress and blood sugar?
Testing In Very Warm Or Very Cold Temperatures
Accuracy of blood glucose meters can be affected by temperature.
Blood glucose meters are designed to be at their most accurate at room temperature.
If you need to test in very warm or very cold temperatures, refer to your meters user guide to see what temperature range the meter is most accurate at.
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Study: Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy Comparison
Earlier, we made reference to some popular meters skewing glucose readings low.
The reason we know this is because we make a point of understanding as much as possible about the science of blood glucose and ketone meters, and that includes competitor brands.
We recently conducted a glucometer accuracy study that compared our meter GK+ Blood Glucose & Ketone meter against two other brands of meters that are generally considered to be among the best available meters, the Abbott Precision Xtra and the Accu-Chek Performa
Below, youll find a summary of our findings. You can also get a PDF of the full study here.
The graphs below for each meter are called Difference Plots. They are used to compare the results of each meter in relation to the lab results. The dotted lines represent the limits of the FDA accuracy standards, the solid line in the middle is the glucose laboratory test result, and the red dots represent the meter readings in relation to the lab result.
The difference plot essentially shows how close the meter reading was to the actual lab result across a range of readings from low to high, and identifies if there is a tendency toward a meter reading higher or lower than the lab results.
Notice that the GK+ meter readings hover relatively close to the lab results.
Abbott Precision Xtra
Notice that the Precision Xtra meter readings have a strong tendency to skew lower than the lab results.
How You Can Better Manage Your Diabetes
Find out how you can better manage your diabetes with continuous glucose monitoring. Glucose meter technology has come a long way so that you can enjoy accurate testing and convenient monitoring. Explore common problems with your meter and where you can turn for reliable servicing or affordable replacement options. Dont let an outdated meter or damaged test strip prevent you from understanding your blood glucose levels.
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Tip #: Manual And Instructions For Use
- read the manual and test strip package insert for information on safety and warnings
- follow the instructions carefully
- test your meter with a control solution regularly, following the instructions in your manual, to make sure it is operating properly
- use only the test strips and controls that are recommended in the manual for your glucose meter
- consult a health care provider or pharmacist if youre not sure which test strips you should use
How Does Your Glucose Meter Work
Weve come a long way from the days when urine strips only displayed a result when your glucose levels were high enough to spill over into your urine. But how accurate are todays blood glucose meters?
When you place your blood on a strip, the glucose in that sample reacts with the chemicals in the strip setting up a small electrical current, which the meter reads. The more glucose that is in the sample the higher the current and the higher the reading.
When you consider the delicate components in the strip, such as the size of the strip and blood sample and the size of the meter, it is a wonder of technology that readings can be as accurate as they are.
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Key Instructions For Using A Blood Glucose Meter
Here are some tips for using a blood glucose meter for accurate results and for the meter to work at its optimum accuracy.
- Wash your hands with warm water using soap and dry with a clean towel.
- Clean the body part you going to take blood from with alcohol wipe.
- Prick the body part with a clean lancet.
- Hold the body part down until blood appears and use the test strip to collect the blood.
- Insert the test strip into the glucose meter and follow the meters instructions to the dot.
Both instructions for the test strips and the meter should be carefully followed to be able to get accurate results.
Factors That Affect The Accuracy Of Your Meter
Keep in mind that the accuracy of your meter can vary. These depend on personal factors as well as testing methods. Here are some common ways that your glucose monitoring may be reporting inaccurate results:
- Improper test strip use: Be sure you dont test with damaged or used strips. All glucose strips are one-time use and can give incorrect results if they are expired, torn, or otherwise damaged.
- Incorrect test strip placement: Is your test strip fully inserted? Check that you cant insert the strip any further otherwise, you may not be getting an accurate reading or a reading at all. Once the strip is inserted in your meter, dont attempt to move or remove it until the reading is complete.
- Test strip storage problems: Glucose meter test strips need to be stored at a specific temperature range. Extreme heat or cold can damage the strips and affect their accuracy. Check the temperature range of your test strips and discard them if exposed to temperatures outside that range.
- Sample site issues: There are a few ways that you can receive an inaccurate measurement due to your test site. Always thoroughly clean your fingertip before testing. Dont attempt to read at an alternative site without approval. If a blood drop does not immediately appear after using your lancet, dont press your fingertip too hard. This could cause incorrectly low results.
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Ways To Check Accuracy Of The Glucose Meter
As we discussed earlier, to check your blood sugar, there are two ways, either a personal glucometer or a lab-based glucometer. Without a doubt, the Lab-based Glucometer leads with a high probability of accurate measurement.
Some actual quality control tests can check the accuracy, which could result in analyzing the quality of a Glucometer.
How Do You Know If Your Current Glucose Meter Is Accurate
One of the most common concerns people with diabetes have is how to know if their glucose meter is accurate.
Analyzing your devices results against a controlled reading is the only way to evaluate the accuracy of your glucose meter. This can be done in two ways:
If for any reason your meter isnt giving accurate measurements after testing, its best to either contact the manufacturer to troubleshoot the device or try a new glucose meter.
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Test Your Blood Glucose Level:
Start by wiping one finger with an alcohol swap and let it dry. You can use fingers like the index, middle, or ring. Then press the lancet device gently against the side of your finger and then press the button to release the needle. And squeeze your finger to get a blood sample.
Then touch the end of the test strip to the drop of blood. Next, you will have to apply a dry swab over the puncture site. Finally, wait for the result to show up on your screen and note the results down for future use.
Now that you have a blood sugar level, the next question is how to check accuracy of glucose meter? Well for this, you can go ahead and follow these steps:
How Long Does Control Solution Last
Most control solution for glucose meters lasts 90 days from the date that the bottle is first opened. However, some manufacturers make their control solution to last longer. It is always best to use control solution before the expiration date on the box, and to discard the bottle after it has been opened for the time period specified by the manufacturer.
After each use, be sure to re-cap the control solution bottle, forming a tight seal. Temperature and humidity can affect the control solution and potentially alter the result of a control solution test. Therefore, check the storage conditions on the bottle to determine the best place to store it.
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How Accurate Are Glucose & Ketone Meters
Blood glucose and ketone meters are extremely valuable tools if you have diabetes, follow the ketogenic diet, or simply want to improve your metabolic health.
While at-home meters arent as accurate as gold standard lab tests, theyre still accurate enough to ensure you make safe decisions about glucose managementand theyre also strictly regulated by the FDA and other governing bodies as medical devices.
If youre feeling doubtful about the accuracy of your meter, this guide has the facts to help put your mind at ease.
But just as importantly, youll also learn how to check your meter for accuracy using a control solution if necessary, as well as the most common factors that can cause inaccurate readings .
Keep reading to learn the truth about meter accuracy, how accuracy is defined, how at-home meters compare to lab tests, how to test accuracy, and more.
Glucose Distribution In One Drop Of Blood & Different Sites
Related to your bodys hydration level, the amount of glucose in that one tiny drop of blood applied to the test strip can vary slightly. Had you squeezed out another drop from the same finger 30 seconds later, it could contain a modestly different amount of glucose.
On the same note, the glucose in the blood sample from your fingertips versus the glucose in your forearm or earlobe can also vary.
If you are using a glucose meter and lancing device that allows you to draw blood from your forearms in addition to your fingertips, keep this in mind. Constantly switching between alternate sites like your forearm and fingertips could produce inconsistent results that inevitably make your insulin dosing inconsistent, too.
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How Can I Find Out If My Glucose Monitor Kit Is Accurate
Most glucose monitor kits come with a test solution. You will need to squeeze a drop of this solution on to a test strip and insert it into your monitor. You should test the solution as you would test your blood. After the monitor has determined the amount of glucose in the solution, you should compare it to the amount printed on the solution bottle. If the two numbers are the same, you know your glucose monitor kit is functioning properly.
To ensure your results are accurate, you should use the test solution each time you open a new box of test strips. You should also use the solution periodically as you do your regular blood testing. Always test your monitor if you receive a blood sugar reading that is odd.
How To Calibrate An Automatic Meter
Turn on the meter. Meters that have a 10-test disc usually calibrate automatically, such as the Ascensia Breeze 2 1. To turn on the meter, you usually have a button located at the top of the meter. Once the meter lights the display, it is ready.
Open the meter. Meters that have 10-test disc usually have a button to open the meter for access to the disc area. Once the meter is opened, place the disc in the meter making sure that you line up the disc with the provided space. Close the meter.
Check your meter display. Your meter is automatically calibrated once the disc is placed in the meter. It should light up on the display screen with directions for taking your blood sugar.
Check the expiration date of your test strips or disc. Expired test strips will not give accurate blood sugar readings. Keep the meter and test strips or disc in a cool, dry place.
Do not refrigerate your meter or test strips.
- Meters that have a 10-test disc usually calibrate automatically, such as the Ascensia Breeze 2 1.
- Meters that have 10-test disc usually have a button to open the meter for access to the disc area.
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Factors & Solutions For Better Accuracy
When your Glucometer gives its best to determine the accuracy to test your blood glucose, but there are a few factors that can make your readings inaccurate. Then these are the solutions to these factors which can affect your accurate readings.
Lets compare and guide you through how you can resolve these minor issues which can endanger your readings.
|Factors which Affect your Readings||Solutions for Better Accuracy|
|Improper Coding of Strips||This needs to be rechecked, whether the test strip number is matching to that of your device.|
|High Temperatures||It is recommended to keep your Glucometer and strips at the desired room temperature to eliminate inaccuracy.|
|Test Strip Issues||The damaged or used test strips should be terminated & these test strips need to be kept under a sealed container. This can avoid your test strips from moisture and humid conditions.|
|Dehydration Issue||You should be aware and never dehydrate yourself this could keep your blood count low & can result in inaccurate readings.|
|Blood Quantity||The blood amount on your test strip should be dropped in a controlled manner. Please avoid extra blood drops on the test strip.|
|Proper Hygiene||This could be the most crucial factor, which is common to be seen among many others. You have to wash your hands, which could erase all the dust particles & give you accurate measures.|
If you properly analyze and optimize these factors with the provided solutions, you might be getting the perfect accuracy of your Glucometer.