Meter Selection

Meters have become smaller, faster, and easier to use, and require less blood. A large selection with various features are on the market, and it's best to be familiar with several models or refer to a diabetes educator. Meter kits aJso include lancet devices for finger pricking. It is important to determine that not only the meter but also the lancing device suits the patient. Getting input from the patient regarding meter selection is key, as their perception of what determines ease of use or a particularly desirable feature can greatly affect their motivation to lest.

Meter features to consider include the required sample size, ease of use, "sipping strips" which use capillary action as opposed to direct application of a drop of blood on the strip, test time, meters that use sites other than the fingertip, accuracy and glucose range, meters that measure levels of whole-blood versus plasma glucose, memory capacity, available data-management software and its ease of use, temperature and altitude range, meter size and weight, large versus small screen and number size, ease of opening test-strip packages, individual foil-wrapped strips versus those stored in a vial, meter and strip costs, ease of coding the meter, and quality-control testing (Table 4).

Patient variables to consider include dexterity, cognitive abilities, visual acuity, frequency of testing, motivation, lifestyle, concerns about compactness, privacy, and how they wish to keep a record of their blood glucose results.

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