How To Check Accuracy Of Blood Glucose Meter
Blood glucose is measured in two different ways –
- laboratory tests
- Personal Blood glucose machines
How are these two different?
When it comes to a personal blood glucose meter, then the device draws blood from the fingertip and then after complete analysis, the results are produced.
But in the case of laboratory tests, blood is drawn from the veins, and then based on lab results, the clinical output is provided. Now, one of the most important questions here is which of the two tests is accurate?
Which of the above two is accurate?
Out of the above-mentioned two tests, the lab test is considered to be far more accurate. The reason is that it is performed under the guidance of a trained health expert and thus this test is far more accurate.
But both the tests have a slight margin of error. There can be a 15-20% of result difference in both the tests. And this is considered acceptable.
Although the truth is that any tests, done from two different sources or methods, will always have two different outputs. So, a slight margin of error is always considered to be acceptable.
In case your lab tests are showing a measurement of 100mg/dl of blood glucose, then your home tests can show up to 85-115 mg/dl.
Who determines this accuracy?
ISO is better known as the International Organization for Standardization, is the one that develops and publishes products and services related to blood glucose meters. This organization is known to develop standards that determine the safety, security, and accuracy of this blood measurement.
The blood glucose meter has the ISO accuracy standard of 15197:2013. A minimum of 95% of glucose test results must be within the 15% range.
Then there is another organization, the FDA, that takes care of the blood glucose meter of the US and follows its own system recommendations. Their draft guidelines are very similar to the ISO guidelines and thus accordingly the framework can be prepared.
8 Major factors that affects the Glucose Meter Accuracy
- Test Strips – While using a test strip, the blood glucose gets combined with the enzymes on the strip. This releases electrons that further create an electric current. Test strips can also give inaccurate results because –
- Test strip is damaged or expired
- Affected by heat or moisture
- Not enough blood taken for the sample
- Contaminants on the test strip
Tip – Always store test strips in a proper refrigerated container so that they give accurate results.
- Environment – The test strips and your blood flow gets duly affected by the environment around us. So, with changes in temperature and humidity, the results can get inaccurate. Also, if the body is at a different altitude, then also the glucose measurement will differ.
Tip – The test strips should always be kept in a closed container and at room temperature. It is very important to maintain a proper temperature with the test strips so that it shows accurate results.
- Chemical Presence on the skin – The presence of chemicals in your blood can alter the test results and glucose level. Similarly, any extra substance like glucose or sugar is present in your finger, then also the test results can get different. In case you have washed your hands, but haven’t dried it completely, then also the test strip will show incorrect test results.
Tip – Try to always wash your hands and dry them completely to get proper results.
- Blood amount taken for the test strip – Taking excess blood or blood in less quantity can seriously alter your test strip results. Thus, make sure to always take blood in the proper quantity so that you can get accurate test results.
Tip – You must take a minimum of 0.5 microliters of blood. This will allow you to take blood in the proper quantity so that you can get proper test results. Also, make sure that you don’t squeeze directly from the lanced area while you are taking the blood drop.
- Alternate Testing site Location – You might be surprised to know this, but if you change the testing site. For example, if a test is being conducted and the blood is being taken from your fingers, then the result might be something different than when the blood is taken from other places. This is because of the blood circulation cycle and when you eat something, then the fresh blood is created at one point and then slowly circulates towards others.
Tip – Always check the instructions of these test strips to understand the best site location from where you can take the blood to get accurate results.
- Hematocrit – You might not know this but the proportion of red blood cells in your blood can also affect the glucose levels in your body. The proportion of red blood cells that also goes by the name of hematocrit can lead to inaccurate blood glucose results. The ISO standards have specified that there is a certain degree of parameters that limits the hematocrit. In case your test strip doesn’t follow that, then the results will definitely be inaccurate.
Tip – Look for the blood glucose testing meters with the latest technology. They will help you to get accurate results as they are known to limit hematocrit variations to a greater degree.
- Meter Variances – With the different meters, results can be significantly different. Every test strip has different chemical reactions, processes, enzymes, calibration processes, computer enzymes, and a lot more. So, make sure that when you are buying a test strip, then keep all these points in mind.
Tip – It is always advisable to stick to only one test strip for your testing. This will facilitate easy and accurate results.
- Coding Mechanism – Some test strips work on the coding mechanism. This means that when you are entering the input, then a code might be required.
Tip – Make sure that before buying any testing kit, you thoroughly check the test strip to understand everything so that you can get accurate results.
Our Suggestion –
One of the best and widely recommended free glucose meter is CONTOUR®NEXT EZ glucose meter. It comes with 50 count free test strips that will allow you to test blood at your convenience.
The manufacturers of these test strips are 100% committed to the causes of diabetes. and thus they have pledged to eradicate diabetes from the world and thus want to contribute for the same. This will be the first step in the direction of a healthy lifestyle.
But in case, you want to use this test strip, then what you need to do –
- Become a privately insured patient. A commercially insured patient might also work. But not a Government health beneficiary.
- Make sure that you fill in the information given in the blank and click on the submit button at the end.
- Now, all you need to do is print the coupon and rush to your nearest pharmacy store to get your product.
- Purchase a minimum of 50 counter test strips and you will get the glucose measuring device free of cost.
Let us know have you ever used this device in the comments down below.