Blood Glucose Meters: Expert and User Reviews

In this report

Blood Glucose Meters: Ratings of Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org Blood Glucose Meters, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Credibility:
A series of volunteers, some of whom have diabetes, help ConsumerReports.org lab technicians test nearly 30 blood glucose meters. Ratings are provided for accuracy, convenience and consistency. Full details are available to subscribers.
2. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics Accuracy Evaluation of Five Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems Obtained from the Pharmacy: A European Multicenter Study with 453 Subjects, Cornelius Tack, M.D., et al, April 14, 2012
Credibility:
Researchers test five recently introduced blood glucose meters under everyday conditions, comparing the results against a clinically administered test. Three meters performed well, with the FreeStyle Lite showing the lowest mean absolute relative differences. The other models tested were the OneTouch UltraEasy and the Contour. Abbott Diabetes Care, which manufactures the FreeStyle models, was involved in the design and analysis of the tests.
3. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology Accuracy Evaluation of Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems in Children on Overnight Closed-Loop Control, DeSalva DJ, et al., Sept. 8, 2014
Credibility:
Researchers evaluated the Bayer Contour Next blood glucose monitor against the HemoCue monitoring system in an overnight closed-loop study of children with type 1 diabetes. The Contour Next outperforms the competition and is recommended as an excellent meter for future closed-loop studies.
4. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology System Accuracy Evaluation of 43 Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose According to DIN EN ISO 15197, Guido Freckmann, M.D., et al, Sept. 6, 2012
Credibility:
The researchers evaluated 43 blood glucose monitoring systems for their conformity to ISO standards for CE-labeled glucometers. Of these, 27 passed; we've listed those that were accurate at least 99 percent of the time. Several notably poor performers were the SeniorLine GM210, the GluxoRX TD-4230 and the Glucohexal II.
5. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology Performance Variability of Seven Commonly Used Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose Systems: Clinical Considerations for Patients and Providers, Ronald L. Brazg, M.D., et al, January 2013
Credibility:
Researchers evaluate seven blood glucose monitors for their compliance with the current and proposed ISO criteria for blood glucose monitors. Just one, the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus, meets the proposed criteria with all three lots of test strips tested. The others, which show greater variations, are the Advocate Redi-Code, Element, Embrace, Prodigy Voice, TRUEbalance and WaveSense Presto.
6. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology Lot-to-Lot Variability of Test Strips and Accuracy Assessment of Systems for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose According to ISO 15197, Annette Baumstark, Ph.D., et al, September 2012
Credibility:
Researchers tested four lots of test strips for each of five blood glucometers with the goal of finding out how consistent results were between lots. Only two of the five meters tested met the criteria in DIN EN ISO 15197:2003 with each lot of test strips tested: The Accu-Chek Aviva and FreeStyle Lite. The monitors whose test strips did not pass were the GlucoCheck XL, Pura/mylife Pura and OneTouch Verio Pro.
7. National Federation of the Blind Evaluating Glucose Meters: Talk is Cheap, But Access is Golden, Connie Kleinbeck, RN, Not Dated
Credibility:
Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, but most blood glucose meters require sight to operate. The National Federation of the Blind lists and explains several talking blood glucose monitors that can help blind people test their blood glucose independently. The Prodigy Voice offers the widest array of audible instructions and feedback, and it earns the highest praise from diabetes educator Connie Kleinbeck.
8. Amazon.com Blood Glucose Monitors, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2016
Credibility:
Most popular brands of blood glucose meters are listed at Amazon.com, making it easy to get an idea of overall consumer opinion. Unlike many competitors, Amazon doesn't import user reviews from manufacturer websites, so it's easier to get a clear read on user opinion. Some blood glucose monitors have hundreds of reviews.
9. Walmart.com Blood Glucose Monitors, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of February 2016
Credibility:
Walmart.com tends to have the best prices overall on blood glucose monitors, and they sell many brands. The top-rated meters get hundreds of reviews; reviewers can also say if they would recommend the product to a friend.
10. Walgreens.com Diabetic Monitors, Contributors to Walgreens.com, As of February 2016
Credibility:
Like most online drugstores, Walgreens.com collects user reviews of the products it sells -- and like most of its competitors, they snare some user reviews from the manufacturer's site. Standout models received an average score of at least 4 stars after 10 or more user reviews; the Walgreens True2Go blood glucose monitoring system receives one of the best scores that's not influenced by reviews from the manufacturer website.
11. American Foundation for the Blind Diabetes and Visual Impairment: An Update on the Blood Glucose Monitor Market, Darren Burton, January 2008
Credibility:
The American Foundation for the Blind thoroughly tests two talking blood glucose meters -- the Prodigy Voice and the SensoCard Plus -- for ease of use by blind or low-vision people. Testers like both blood glucose monitors, but they find the Prodigy Voice "slightly more accessible and usable" for people with impaired sight.
12. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology Blood Glucose Meters That Are Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired Persons, Mark M. Uslan, et al, March 2008
Credibility:
This study looks at five blood glucose meters designed for use by visually impaired people, including several models from Prodigy and Advocate. The Prodigy Voice is the only one "fully usable by blind and visually impaired persons." The study is excellent, but it's several years old and doesn't include some of the newest models on the market.
13. Healthline.com True2Go Glucose Meter - Review, Dan Fleshler, May 6, 2014
Credibility:
This video review was originally posted to the DiabetesMine Test Kitchen. Author Dan Fleshler, who has been living with type 1 diabetes for more than 50 years, provides a balanced review of the TRUE2Go blood glucose meter and deems it a good choice for a spare meter or on-the-go glucometer.
14. HealthCentral.com A Blood Glucose Meter for the Visually Impaired, Ann Bartlett, Oct. 22, 2009
Credibility:
Another HealthCentral.com writer with diabetes, Ann Bartlett, tests three talking blood glucose meters from Prodigy: the Prodigy Voice, Prodigy AutoCode and Prodigy Pocket. She prefers the loud speakers and large displays of the Voice and AutoCode models.
15. DLife.com New Blood Glucose Meters for the Visually Impaired, A. Paul Chous, OD, Sept. 22, 2010
Credibility:
A. Paul Chous is an optometrist who has type 1 diabetes and who specializes in diabetes eye care. He tests Prodigy blood glucose meters for several weeks and especially likes the Prodigy Voice, which was designed with the help of visually impaired and blind patients. He says its tactile buttons "allow easy operation by even totally blind people with just a little practice."