Diabetes is steadily getting younger. If relatively recently it was a disease of the elderly, today such a diagnosis can be made at the age of 30-40. To monitor the state of the body, you need a blood sugar meter. There are many such devices on the market today. You can buy a classic invasive glucometer to measure sugar and cholesterol, or purchase a device that does not require a finger prick. It is not difficult to figure out which device is suitable for home use or for children. The main thing is to pay attention to the important features of the meter.
What are sugar level meters?
A glucometer is a device for measuring the level of glucose in a person’s blood. With diabetes, the main thing is to keep this indicator within safe limits. Therefore, people with this diagnosis prefer to choose a glucometer for home use in order to take action in time if the glucose level rises to the upper limit of normal.
Devices of this class are divided into significant groups. The first difference is formed by the mechanics of diagnostics. Invasive glucometer measures the level of sugar based on the blood sample taken. More modern devices work without a finger puncture. Non-invasive glucometers — this is a whole group of devices that carry out diagnostics without test strips, without blood sampling and other complex procedures.
A photometric glucometer works on the basis of a blood test. The patient needs to make a puncture on the finger and apply a drop of the sample to the test strip. covered special composition of reagents, it changes color depending on the sugar content in the sample. A modern device can do all the work for the user. The glucometer measures the change in the color of the strip itself, displaying the test results on the display.
Important! Despite such advanced technology, devices of this class are not very accurate. The reason is the shortcomings of the optical system: lens contamination greatly affects measurement errors.
If you make a comparison, which is better to choose a glucometer from budget models, electrochemical or photometric — the first one wins with a devastating score. This is due to the increased accuracy and stability of the measurement results of the test. The principle of operation of the device is as follows:
- the patient makes a puncture of the finger;
- the test strip changes characteristics according to the blood sugar content;
- An electrochemical glucometer records the electric current that occurs during a chemical reaction.
The results of the analysis are change in the passing current. Thanks to the achievements of modern technology, it is possible to record indicators with high accuracy.
Important! An electrochemical device is much more accurate than a photometric glucometer, which is considered the oldest diagnostic solution.
The laser glucometer represents the evolution of classic technology. The patient does not need to do a finger puncture — the device will do it for him. It contains the so-called laser piercer. As a result of the action of a light pulse, the skin is burned, blood is taken, its flow is stopped by baking the microscopic zone of penetration.
The disadvantage that distinguishes such an advanced electronic glucometer is its price. The device is frankly expensive. In addition, the laser piercing elements have a finite service life. As a result, to use such an advanced device you will have to constantly buy quite expensive consumables.
The non-contact meter can be called an ideal solution for the home, for the elderly, child and adult. This is a completely non-invasive device. You do not need to pierce your finger, allocate time for measurements. The principle of operation of the device is as follows:
- coherent radiation in a narrow wavelength range is directed to the skin surface;
- reflected, the rays change their characteristics;
- the receiver of the device fixes the parameters of the secondary radiation;
- a computerized unit analyzes the data and displays the measurement results.
A device of this class is also called touch glucometer: You can simply put your finger on the measurement panel. The device can be executed in different formats. For example, a portable glucometer bracelet is very popular. Measurement technology has developed so much that today even smart watches learn to count the amount of sugar in the blood.
Important! The disadvantage of the device is obvious: an accurate and at the same time bloodless non-contact type glucometer is expensive for the average user. However, if you want to get the highest measurement accuracy, instant diagnostics, stability of work, such a device simply has no equal.
Romanovsky glucometer is also a bloodless device. It does not require a blood sample to work. The operating principle is based on spectral analysis. The sensor unit reads the reflected radiation from the skin area. The computerized module decodes the spectrum. Based on the data on the intensity of radiation in the band characteristic of glucose, the test result is formed.
The complexity of spectrography has led to the non-proliferation of devices of this type on the market. The reason is not only the rather high cost of the technical solution. For the production of meters of this class, technological production is required, in terms of the level approaching the category of manufacturing microprocessor technology. And there are very few companies of this level.
The last type of meter worth mentioning cannot be considered an instrument per se. This is a quick diagnostic tool that does not claim to be highly accurate results. Disposable glucometer is a test strip.
The chemical composition applied to its surface has a high color variability depending on the blood sugar content. By pricking a finger, the patient can visually determine the level of glucose without the use of optical meters.
How to choose a glucometer
Each patient is interested not only in the accuracy of measuring blood sugar levels, but also in the convenience of this procedure. Therefore, when choosing a glucometer, you need to take into account the maximum number of features and parameters of the device.
- Accuracy of measurements. Ideally, if the manufacturer clearly indicates at what time intervals it is necessary to calibrate the device in a special laboratory.
- Balance of functionality and cost. Here, the average user puts electrochemical class devices in the first place. However, if the patient is interested in maximum mobility, it is better to buy a non-contact type device.
- Measurement speed. Types of glucometers, such as non-contact and laser, offer almost instantaneous results. When buying an electrochemical or photometric device, you should choose a model with the shortest possible preparation time for the result.
- Maintaining statistics. Recording measurement results during the day is very useful. This will be especially interesting for people who are trying to stick to a strict diet. In the same functional section, it is worth mentioning the ability to set a food intake label. This allows you to form a clearer picture of what is happening, adjust the diet or change the time of lunch, breakfast, dinner.
The last thing to be taken into account without fail — model popularity. The more devices sold, the more consumables and accessories are offered for them. By choosing a glucometer from a popular manufacturer, you can count on the simplicity of warranty and post-warranty service, the availability of laboratories for verification.
Features of devices for the elderly
Diabetes is a dangerous disease. In older people, it causes a sharp drop in vision. That’s why talking glucometer for the blind will be a good buy. The device not only gives voice commands for the correct measurement, but also speaks the test results aloud.
In addition, older people have difficulty remembering and reproducing the complex mechanics of the implementation of certain procedures. Therefore, you need to make a choice of a glucometer that has a minimum number of controls and functions. Its main features should be a large backlit display, voice alerts and a high speed of the test.
Glucometers for children
Despite the fact that some types of glucometers require a finger prick for blood sampling, children quickly get used to the procedure and do not complain. Not only the accuracy of the device is important, but also its interactivity.
On a note! Today, children’s glucometers are real mentors for a child. For example, it is easy to buy a model that will independently remind you of the time when it is time to take a test.
Not superfluous will be sound alerts for different levels of sugar in the blood. Modern manufacturers go further. In particular, specialized children’s appliances are equipped with full color display with game console functionality. Such a glucometer will be a constant companion of the child.
Devices for active people
Adults leading an active lifestyle will like the most lightweight, compact, unpretentious glucometers. You can easily take this device with you. It will not fail in the event of an accidental drop or a sharp temperature drop.
It is important to choose a glucometer with high speed and measurement accuracy. This criterion today meets a lot of non-contact devices from different manufacturers. Including, made in the format of a bracelet or belt on the forearm.
The most reliable glucometers
iCheck iCheck blood glucose meter on Yandex Market
Glucometer Satellite Express (PKG-03) on Yandex Market
Accu-Chek Performa blood glucose meter on Yandex Market
Glucometer Contour TS on Yandex Market
OneTouch Select® Plus Glucose Meter on Yandex Market