New Products for Patients With Diabetes

W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPh; Joshua J. Pray, PharmD candidate


US Pharmacist. 2004;29(1) 

In This Article

Blood Glucose Measurement Innovations

Blood glucose meters have undergone constant updating and refinement since the introduction of the first meters. Manufacturers continually strive to improve their models, ensuring that they will retain a share of the lucrative market for blood glucose test strips.

Four blood glucose monitors have made recent debuts and have been heavily marketed to professionals in advertisements that had appeared by mid-2004. Each touts different advantages in an effort to distinguish itself from the competition. For instance, the TrueTrack Smart System claims a 10-second test time, with strips that cost 30% less. The meter also allows the patient to test with 1 mcL of blood.[4] The meter retains 365 test results; the patient can obtain 14- or 30-day morning averages.

The BD Logic claims a testing time of just five seconds. The advertisements also stress that the 33-gauge lancet is designed to cause 50% less pain than the 28-gauge lancets. At first, the reader might wonder why the gauge size of the lancet is presented as an advantage of the same company's blood glucose meter. However, the meter claims to yield a successful result using only 0.3 mcL of blood, less than many meters.[5] A smaller lancet may be able to deliver a drop of this size, while simultaneously reducing pain. Another feature of the BD Logic is its ability to interface with BD Diabetes Software that can be purchased from BD for $59.99, including the USB connection cable or serial connection cable.[6,7] The software provides flexible charts and graphs to allow individual analysis of diabetes control.

The FreeStyle Flash meter claims to be the world's smallest meter, measuring only 3 in. and weighing in at 1.4 oz.[8,9] It yields a result in seven seconds.[10] The meter retains 250 values in its memory. The data may be downloaded to a PC via a data port and a FreeStyle data cable. Data may be managed with either the FreeStyle CoPilot Web-Based Data Management System or the FreeStyle Connect Data Management System (PC-based). Both may be obtained free through the company Web site.

The OneTouch UltraSmart is a blood glucose meter that functions as an electronic logbook.[11] Different buttons allow the patient to enter the exercise data (e.g., duration and level), health comments (e.g., HbA1c, ketones, cholesterol, blood pressure, eye exams, foot exams), medications (e.g., oral medications, insulin types and dosages, insulin pump data), and food (e.g., carbohydrates, fats, proteins, calories). The patient can visualize trends and recognize patterns. For instance, asking the meter to supply a food average yields average daily intake of calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates for the past seven, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days.