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Glucose Monitoring Devices

Glucose Monitoring Device Treatment

Checking blood glucose levels regularly with glucose monitoring devices is vital to proper diabetes management. Management has been simplified in the home setting using a variety of glucose monitoring devices that minimize the steps to obtain an accurate blood sugar count. Most of these devices are as simple as turning the device on and providing a small blood sample.

A drop of blood obtained through a finger prick is typically sufficient to use on a test strip that is then measured in one of many types of glucose monitoring devices. The steps to use these devices are similar and relatively simple.

  • Clean the region where the blood will be taken.
  • Prick the finger with a lancet (a special needle) manually or with a spring-loaded "pen."
  • Let a small drop of blood form on the fingertip.
  • Transfer the blood to the test strip by touching the test strip or device to the blood drop.
  • Insert the test strip into the glucose monitoring devices or glucose meter and wait for a reading.
  • Blood glucose monitors have been found to be accurate and reliable if correctly used, and most monitors provide results within two minutes.

A finger prick can become painful and difficult for a person with diabetes to do on a regular basis. Several noninvasive devices (that do not require an actual blood sample) are currently being researched to provide persons with diabetes an alternative. However, most noninvasive blood glucose monitoring devices have not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some noninvasive devices currently under investigation include:

  • The use of infrared light to shine through the forearm or finger
  • The use of low-level electrical currents to draw blood up through the skin
  • The use of saliva or tears to measure glucose levels

There are many types of standard glucose monitoring devices on the market today, ranging in price, ease of use, size, portability and length of testing time. Each of the glucose monitoring devices requires its own type of testing strip. Some glucose monitors can also give verbal testing instructions and verbal test results for people who are visually or physically impaired. There are also glucose monitors available that provide verbal instructions in Spanish and other languages.

Certain blood glucose monitors are equipped with data-management systems which store blood glucose measurements automatically. This data may be recalled at a physician's office if they have the proper equipment matching the glucose monitoring devices used by the patient.

One advantage of a data-management system is the ability to plot a graph on the computer depicting patterns of blood sugar levels which can be stored in the medical record of the individual and be used at later dates to determine positive or negative trending (changes) in the body's response to insulin therapy.