Daily blood sugar checking is an essential component of any effective diabetes management plan. Historically, this has been accomplished via traditional blood glucose meters (BGMs). But studies show that many people find that using a traditional BGM is inconvenient, particularly if they need to check their blood sugar multiple times a day.
Luckily, there are newer glucose-checking technologies that make monitoring your blood sugar easy. In this article, we will discuss the importance of routine glucose checking as well as two easy diabetes check devices and how they compare to traditional BGMs.
The Importance of Routine Glucose Monitoring
For people living with diabetes, regularly checking and tracking glucose levels provides them and their healthcare teams with essential insights to help them effectively manage their diabetes. Routine glucose checking and tracking are important not only for day-to-day diabetes management, but also for gaining a big-picture perspective on their management plan.
Here are some examples of important insights you could gain from routine glucose checking:
- Whether your glucose levels are currently in your target range
- How medication, diet, exercise, stress, illness, sleep quality and timing, hormones, and other factors affect your blood glucose levels
- How well your treatment plan is working and whether any adjustments are needed
Glucose checking can also help you protect your health by helping to prevent serious complications, such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, vision loss, and hearing loss, from undetected low or high glucose levels.
Best Devices for an Easy Diabetes Check
Whether you’ve been living with diabetes your whole life or were recently diagnosed, you’re likely familiar with traditional BGMs. They typically come in a kit containing the BGM device, a separate lancing device with separate lancets, test strips, and batteries. Keeping track of supplies, finding a private place to test, performing the multistep process, and tracking down a sharps container are all common issues that can get in the way of checking your glucose as frequently as you should.
Furthermore, with most traditional BGMs that don’t have integrated Bluetooth, you need to manually log and track your glucose if you want to pick up on patterns and help your healthcare team understand how well your treatment plan is working.
Easy diabetes check devices, such as automatic blood glucose monitors (ABGMs) and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), provide an easy approach to monitoring glucose levels.
ABGMs integrate lancets and test strips into cartridges, so there’s no need to carry them around separately. To check blood glucose levels with an ABGM, simply turn the monitor on and place your finger on the test port. The monitoring system will automatically lance, collect blood, and give you accurate results quickly.
CGMs continuously take glucose readings from interstitial fluid, the fluid in the spaces around cells. Finger prick blood tests are required for some CGMs, but only during the calibration and ramp-up period. CGMs measure glucose anytime the sensor is worn and provide results every few minutes on your monitor. After the sensor is inserted, no action is required from you until you need to insert a new sensor.
Easy Diabetes Check: Comparing BGMs, ABGMs, and CGMs
BGMs, ABGMs, and CGMs are the three main ways to approach glucose monitoring. BGMs are handheld devices, ABGMs are automatic handheld devices, and CGMs are wearable devices. Here’s a closer look at how they compare.
|Cost?||Lowest cost range||Middle cost range||Highest cost range|
|Can be used on the go?||Yes (but not as easily)||Yes||Yes|
|Measures blood glucose?||Yes||Yes||No (measures interstitial glucose)|
|Can be used to measure immediate changes?||Yes||Yes||No (because glucose enters the bloodstream first before it moves into the interstitial fluid, CGM readings lag behind BGM readings by about 5–15 minutes)|
|Conducive to discreet glucose checks?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Requires separate test strips and lancets to be loaded?||Yes||No||One needle inserter per sensor application|
|Requires sharps disposal?||Yes||No, unless local law provides otherwise (because lancets and test strips are integrated inside a cartridge, the needle isn’t exposed, and the cartridge often doesn’t require sharps-container disposal)||Sometimes (some CGM manufacturers recommend placing used sensors in a sharps container)|
Simplify Glucose Monitoring With POGO Automatic®
Testing and tracking glucose levels are key pillars of diabetes management and among the best things you can do to protect your health—and they don’t have to be cumbersome.
An ABGM, such as the POGO Automatic Monitor, is designed to simplify your daily diabetes management and help you stay on track with glucose monitoring with ease.
POGO Automatic offers a simple, fast, and accurate way to check your blood glucose in a single step. Just load the 10-test cartridge into the monitor, and you’re good to go. To check your blood glucose, just turn the monitor on and place your finger on the test port. The POGO Automatic Monitoring System will automatically lance, collect blood, and give you accurate results quickly.
The POGO Automatic Monitor syncs with the Patterns® for POGO Automatic app via Bluetooth to ensure that you have your results at your fingertips anytime, anywhere you choose. Patterns lets you see and manage blood glucose trends, correlate your glucose levels with lifestyle variables, and share insights with your healthcare team. If you struggle to remember to test, you can set up reminders using Patterns. If you have a low or high blood glucose emergency, Patterns will automatically send alerts with tips on suggested actions to help you avoid more serious events.
The best diabetes management plan is unique to your specific diabetes management plan, lifestyle, and personal preferences. How you choose to monitor your glucose levels is up to you and your healthcare team. Finding an easy diabetes check device can make it easier to stick to your glucose monitoring plan and better manage your diabetes.
Jaclyn Owens is a product director specializing in diabetes management tools. She is committed to using technology to empower people with diabetes and help them take control of their health.
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.