The OneTouch Ultra 2 has been around for a while, and some consumers say its test strip technology is dated. Still, the experts give it excellent ratings for accuracy and, while user opinions are mixed, they're mostly positive. It also comes with a nice range of features including a 500-reading memory, averaging function, optional comments/meal-flagging and a backlit screen.
Mixed results. A leading consumer research organization gives the OneTouch Ultra 2 an "excellent" score for accuracy; in a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, Andreas Pfützner and colleagues found it to be within the clinically acceptable range 99.5 percent of the time. However, users' opinions are more mixed -- some love it, others complain about highly variable readings. "I tested my blood sugar recently ... and got a reading of 95... I test again. I got a reading of 145. Yikes! I tested again and got 156," writes one man at Amazon.com. The Ultra 2 requires a larger than usual sample size -- 1 microliter -- and returns results in 5 seconds.
Nicely arrayed. The OneTouch Ultra 2 comes with a nice range of features including a backlit screen, memory for 500 date- and time-stamped readings and the ability to compute 7-, 14- and 30-day averages. You can flag your readings for before- or after-meal status and attach optional comments.
The Ultra 2 comes with a case, but at least one Drugstore.com user says it's a little too small and flimsy to hold everything you need. It supports alternate-site testing on your forearm and palm.
Not the friendliest. A few Amazon.com users complain about the test strips for the OneTouch Ultra 2, which require you to dab a drop of blood into a narrow channel at the end (as opposed to capillary action strips, which suck the blood right off your finger). You also can't apply more blood to a strip if you didn't get the sample right the first time, and you must code the test strips manually.
You can use the Ultra 2 with OneTouch Diabetes Management software, but a special interface cable is required and the limited feedback we've found about it is less than enthusiastic.
Pricey test strips. Test strips for the OneTouch Ultra 2 are on the high end, about $32 per box of 50. A leading consumer research organization estimates the annual cost of using the Ultra 2 at $1,750 per year, assuming that you test your blood four times a day. On the upside, we found several reports from CVS.com users that say this meter will work reliably for years.
The editors of ConsumerReports.org and a panel of volunteers, some of whom have diabetes, test more than two dozen blood glucose meters including the OneTouch Ultra 2. Meters are evaluated for factors including accuracy and repeatability; full details are available to subscribers.
Review: Blood Glucose Meter Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
2. Current Medical Research and Opinion
Although this study was meant to compare the readings from the BGStar and iBGStar meters against more conventional blood glucose meters, it resulted in a finding that all of the meters tested -- including the OneTouch Ultra 2 -- are very highly accurate.
Review: Clinical Assessment of the Accuracy of Blood Glucose Measurement Devices, A. Pfützner, et al., April 2012
About 80 reviewers rate the OneTouch Ultra 2 at Amazon.com, giving it a 3.3-star rating out of 5 overall. Quite a few of the complaints are specific to the non-Amazon.com company that distributes this device through Amazon.com, resulting in a slightly skewed rating.
Review: One Touch Ultra 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014
A second Amazon.com listing for the OneTouch Ultra 2 receives just over 30 user reviews and a 4.1-star rating out of 5. Feedback is mixed, with some loving the way it met their expectations and the meter's accuracy; others complaining it seems cheap and flimsy.
Review: One Touch Ultra2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System, (Pack of 1), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014
About 18 Drugstore.com users give the OneTouch Ultra 2 an overall score of 4.2 stars. The most consistent complaint is about the expensive test strips, although several comments seem to have been edited and a "[...]" inserted.
Review: OneTouch Ultra 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System, Contributors to Drugstore.com, Contributors to Drugstore.com As of March 2014
Just a handful of users rate the OneTouch Ultra 2 at CVS.com, giving it an impressive 4.8 stars score out of 5. They have some useful feedback about its durability, saying their previous version of the same meter had lasted for years.
Review: OneTouch Ultra 2 Diabetes Blood Glucose Monitoring System, Contributors to CVS.com, As of March 2014
The editors of USNews.com poll an undisclosed number of pharmacists about blood glucose monitors; the OneTouch Ultra series is by far the favorite.
Review: Blood Glucose Monitors, Editors of USNews,com, As of March 2014